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Sales tax in Canada

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Barney girl:
I'll be travelling in Canada in June and was wondering about sales tax. I know it's added to the advertised price, but how do you know what the total will be if you're not local? (we'll be in Quebec, staying one night in Edmonton, then train to Vancouver, so that's three different states)

Outdoor Girl:
They are called provinces, not states.   :)

The entire country pays GST on most goods and services.  This is 5%.  Each province then sets their own PST, which varies province to province.  Ontario was at 8% but recently did what is called the harmonized sales tax or HST.  So most goods and services have a total of 13% added on.

You should be able to google what each province has in the way of PST or HST.  You'll have to look up Quebec, Alberta (Edmonton) and British Columbia (Vancouver) unless some of the other e-hellions in those provinces can jump in and tell you the rates there.

Edmonton is in the Province of Alberta.  There is GST, the national sales tax of 5% but no provincial tax, so that is all you will pay.  BC has GST and PST, but don't know how much the PST is. 

Quebec is a french speaking province, so you may want to take a phrase book with you.  Not all areas have a high Francophone population, but you must expect the first language to be French there. 

Oh and not all places add the GST after.  Some places include GST.  There are signs indicating how they charge - either GST included or added after the fact.

If you eat out in a restaurant or bar, tipping is expected at about 15 to 20%.

BC also has HST - it's 12%.


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