How Much is the Sales Tax in Canada?

Don't be surprised when you get your bill. Learn about Canada sales taxes.

••• Canada sales taxes include a standard national tax and varying provincial taxes. stockstudioX / Getty Images

For visitors to Canada, getting the check at the end of a meal or signing off on your hotel bill can be a quite a shock, especially for Americans.

You see, Canada adds at least one sales tax onto purchases made here and in some provinces two taxes that can add as much as 15% added to your total bill.

Nationwide, there is a goods and services tax (GST) of 5%, so no matter where you are in Canada, expect 5% to be added to just about everything you buy (except groceries - so you pay the tax on restaurant food, but not at a grocery store - municipal transit and a few other things).

Of the 10 provinces and three territories in Canada, four have no other tax besides the GST: Alberta, Nunavut, Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories.

Alberta: 5% total sales tax

Nunavut: 5% total sales tax

Yukon Territory: 5% total sales tax

Northwest Territories: 5% total sales tax

Four provinces have a harmonized sales tax (HST), which means its GST has been merged with a provincial sales tax. The HST is added on to the same goods and services that the GST is and appears as one tax on your restaurant, hotel and store bills:

New Brunswick: 5% + 8% = 13% total sales tax,

Newfoundland and Labrador:  5% + 8% = 13% total sales tax,

Nova Scotia: 5% + 10% = 15% total sales tax,

Ontario: 5% + 8% = 13% total sales tax, and

PEI: 5% + 9% = 14% total sales tax 

The remaining provinces all have a separate provincial sales tax (PST) that shows up independent from the GST on all your bills and applies to different items depending on the province: British Columbia (7%), Saskatchewan (5%), Manitoba (8%), Quebec (9.975%).

British Columbia: 5% + 7% = 12% total sales tax

Saskatchewan: 5% + 5% = 10% total sales tax

Manitoba: 5% + 8% = 13% total sales tax

Quebec: 5% + 9.975% = 15%

Canada does not have a value added tax rebate (VAT) for goods purchased in Canada. It was eliminated in 2007.

At a glance, here are the top 10 cities in Canada to visit and the tax you will pay in those cities:

  • Toronto, Ontario: 13% HST
  • Vancouver, British Columbia: 5% GST + 7% PST
  • Montreal, Quebec: 5% GST + 9.975% PST
  • Niagara Falls, Ontario: 13% HST
  • Quebec City, Quebec: 5% GST + 9.975% PST
  • Victoria, British Columbia: 5% GST + 7% PST
  • Calgary, Alberta: 5% GST
  • Ottawa, Ontario: 13% HST
  • Edmonton, Alberta: 5% GST
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia: 15% HST