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Why Give an HST Advantage to Foreign Online Retailers?

Posted August 24, 2016

Under Canadian Customs Issues, International Trade Issues


(John Williamson – Chronicle Herald)

If you buy more than $20 worth of goods from an online retailer in the U.S., you currently have to pay HST on your purchase. But big changes could be coming, bringing a greater tax exemption for consumer imports.

Online U.S. retailers, shipping companies and the Canadian American Business Council have pushed Ottawa to boost Canada’s exemption limit from $20 to $200. They want to alter our tax system to benefit online retail companies located abroad. Unfortunately, the proposal would steamroll Canadian retailers in communities across Canada.

The HST is a hated tax. But it is also a sensible one because it applies to most goods and services purchased in Canada, whether made here or imported. If we think the tax is too high, the correct answer is to lower the rate, not to give one type of transaction a tax advantage. Click here to read more.