Canadians enjoy many government-funded benefits, such as healthcare, education systems, interconnecting highways, clean drinking water and sanitation systems. Canadians pay a variety of taxes to the federal and provincial governments to support these benefits.
Each year, you determine your final tax obligation. On the return, you list your income and deductions, calculate federal and provincial or territorial tax, and determine if you have a balance of tax owing for the year, or whether you are entitled to a refund of some or all of the tax that was deducted from your income during the year.
When you purchase an item or a service one or more types of tax may be added:
Provincial Sales Tax (PST) - With the exception of Alberta, the provinces also tax many new and used items (but not services). The rate varies by province.
Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) - In Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador, the GST and PST are combined into a single tax - the HST. The HST is 13% (5% GST plus 8% PST) and is added to the cost of the goods or services for the final total price.