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Canadian GST Tax Rebate

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I learned from newspaper articles that the Canadian GST rebate program for non-Canadian residents. This Big White ski trip, I was careful to keep all the receipts and when I came back from Canada, I am ready to file for the rebate.

Following is the refund form I received from the Hotel I was staying:

http://www.artloversplus.com/ski/gstref.pdf

After studying the form carefully, I realized it is probably not worth my while to file such a rebate.

1. The form I received is from a commercial processing outfit in New York, there is a service charge of 20% of the refund or $10CAN minimum, plus a $2CAN processing charge. In addition to the unfavorable currency exchange I am expecting.
2. The excluded, not eligible items included auto rental, food, service and entertainment. I suppose the ski lift ticket is part of either entertainment or service. So what is eligible will be the hotel charges, which I have paid $22CAN GST. I did not purchase any goods in Canada this trip.

In total, should I used the rebate processing service, I would probably get $10CAN back if I spend the time to provide details and file for the rebate. Not a whole lot of money for lot of trouble.

I am aware of that you can file directly with the Canadian government without going through the commercial processor. I am wondering if any one here had done this and knows how to go about filing the paper work.
post #2 of 19
Hi Jack,

The easiest way to get a GST refund is to stop at any duty free shop on your way out of Canada and get the refund instantly in either Can or US funds. Obviously a little late for you to do that. Those commericial firms are a big rip. They charge huge fees for a refund you can process yourself free of charge.

Revenue Canada has direct processing forms at every border crossing for travelers to pick up and mail in. I'm putting a link below that hopefully will take you to the Revenue Canada webpage showing the form and perhaps you can print the form off of it. If the link doesn't work PM me your e-mail address and I'll send it to you that way. Mrs Whistlerskier - Tracy

http://www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca/tax/nonre...ors/tax-e.html
post #3 of 19
How long does it take for the refund? I was in Baniff last Feb. I bought a gear bag and winter jacket plus someother goods. I sent off my rebate form when I got home and haven't recieved anything back. I forgot about it until I saw this post.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by whistlerskier:
Hi Jack,

The easiest way to get a GST refund is to stop at any duty free shop on your way out of Canada and get the refund instantly in either Can or US funds. Obviously a little late for you to do that. Those commericial firms are a big rip. They charge huge fees for a refund you can process yourself free of charge.

Revenue Canada has direct processing forms at every border crossing for travelers to pick up and mail in. I'm putting a link below that hopefully will take you to the Revenue Canada webpage showing the form and perhaps you can print the form off of it. If the link doesn't work PM me your e-mail address and I'll send it to you that way. Mrs Whistlerskier - Tracy

http://www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca/tax/nonre...ors/tax-e.html
Thanks,
I have went to the web site and printed the official form. Still I have two questions:

1/ In what form is the refund comes to me? A US$ Check or CAN$ Check? If it is CAN$ check, I have to spend a lot of bank charges to get it processed.
2/ Does the Ski Lift Tickets elegiable for GST refund?
post #5 of 19
refund is in Canadian dollars, dont know about lift tickets
post #6 of 19
sorry should have made clear it is a check in Canadian dollars
post #7 of 19
You can't get a refund on lift tickets. As far as i remember you should have got your receipts stamped by customs before leaving. You can claim for goods like skis etc, and accomodation if you paid for it yourself ie. not via a tour operator, but not services like rental cars, ski tunes etc ie. things you "consumed".

hope this helps.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by whistlerskier:
Revenue Canada has direct processing forms at every border crossing for travelers to pick up and mail in. I'm putting a link below that hopefully will take you to the Revenue Canada webpage showing the form and perhaps you can print the form off of it.
Do NOT send in the processing forms to Revenue Canada. They never sent any of our refunds back from three different trips, or even acknowledged receiving our forms/receipts. By my unofficial count, they owe us well in excess of $500 CDN (this stretches back to when they used to give refunds for both federal and provincial taxes). The only sure way to get your money is to go through the process at the border crossing.

You heard it here first.

[ January 02, 2004, 05:25 AM: Message edited by: jamesdeluxe ]
post #9 of 19
I've been up to Canada several times and completed the GST rebate form almost every time. They've always mailed me a check without incident. Also, if you file the official government form, there is no service charge and you have the option of having the check (sorry cheque) issued in either US or Canadian funds. Maybe, the Canadian government just hates you, James.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
James,

I am wondering if you have follow the instructions to the letter. For example, they require original documents and the boarding pass if your goods purchase receipts have not been stamped by the custom.

I know people in Hong Kong even got their refunds.
post #11 of 19
We've never had a problem either. For us it has generally taken about 4-6 weeks to get the check and they have always sent it in US funds. And Bergerac is correct on his refund info. Only the GST on goods is refundable, nothing on services like lift tickets. Tracy
post #12 of 19
I've always done the boarder crossing GST refund gig. I agree the whole rebate processing companies are a big rip off. I'm not sure how it works for those that fly in and out of Canada though. Do they have similar GST rebate offices at the airports?
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
I sent out the Canadian Government official GST application at the end of January. Today, 2/11, I received the GST refund check in US dollars.

The only thing I got back was my GST paid on the hotel bill The other possible refund is if you purchased goods such as skis/sb or boots or any thing expensive, which I don't have. All service related GST will not be refunded, incl. the lift tickets.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by jamesdeluxe:
[QBDo NOT send in the processing forms to Revenue Canada. They never sent any of our refunds back from three different trips, or even acknowledged receiving our forms/receipts. By my unofficial count, they owe us well in excess of $500 CDN (this stretches back to when they used to give refunds for both federal and provincial taxes). The only sure way to get your money is to go through the process at the border crossing.

You heard it here first.[/QB]
My guess is that you have very bad luck, or aren't very attentive when filling out forms. Once is a fluke, twice sucks, but 3x? I don't know.

The 2x I did it, I got the check in a timely fashion. You should take safeguard measures such as photocopying your application, and sending it certified/ retn. receipt.

Worst deal I got was leaving Canada 2 weeks ago, once I checked in for my flight, I couldn't go back out to the area where I needed to get my receipts stamped. Screwed again.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by Xdog1:


Worst deal I got was leaving Canada 2 weeks ago, once I checked in for my flight, I couldn't go back out to the area where I needed to get my receipts stamped. Screwed again.
Is there anyway I can get the refund if I didn't get my receipts stamped?
post #16 of 19
Not that I know of. Got scammed by the Canadians like that last time. It was ostensibly to stop crime.
I think they would like you to use the expensive 'get your tax back here' outlets.

You could try going back in with the gear and doing it again if you keep the receipts and take the stuff back around.

Let me know if you're sucessful.
post #17 of 19
We always just stop at the duty free shop at the border; fill out a form; and get a credit. We then spend the entire credit in the duty free shop on single-malt scotch whiskey which is at a very good price there. Kinda the last nice little fun thing to do on our annual trek up north.
post #18 of 19
Don't think I will be going back for a while, I think it needs to be done within 12 months?

Anyone else?
post #19 of 19
go online http://www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca/tax/nonre...ors/tax-e.html
this is the govt website with no additional fees
you can mail it in /forget the airport and private companies
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