Canada-U.S. Blog Trade Lawyers Cyndee Todgham Cherniak and Susan K. Ross

Category Archives: GST/HST

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How does the Canada-US trade war affect cross-border shoppers?

Posted in Canada's Federal Government, Countermeasures, Customs Law, GST/HST, tariffs

On July 1, 2018, Canada imposed countermeasures (that is, 10% duties) on a number of U.S. origin goods.  These new duties will apply to goods that are purchased by Canadians who shop in the United States.  Canadian cross border shoppers may be asked more questions at the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) Primary Inspection Booth… Continue Reading

Are Actors/Actresses/Performers/Directors Required to Register for GST/HST?

Posted in Canada's Federal Government, Cross-border trade, GST/HST

Canada is known as Hollywood North because many movies and television shows and commercials are filmed in Canada. However, unlike the United States, Canada has a federal sales tax called the goods and services tax (“GST”) and in some provinces harmonized sales tax (“HST”) is imposed.  GST/HST is exigible in respect of supplies of services… Continue Reading

What We Have is a Failure to Communicate: Computer Programmers Should Not be Expected to Know Customs and Trade Compliance

Posted in AMPs, Corporate Counsel, Cross-border deals, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Export Controls & Economic Sanctions, Exports, GST/HST, Imports Restrictions, origin, Sales Taxes, tariff classification, Tax, valuation

This is a common problem – too common.  The people in the company responsible for customs and trade compliance do not work closely with the computer programmers as software is being developed — and mistakes are made.  The computer programmer does his or her job in preparing the code, but does not have any knowledge… Continue Reading

What should a taxpayer under audit do if the CRA auditor proposes an assessment?

Posted in Canada's Federal Government, GST/HST

The Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) conducts audits to ensure that taxpayers are paying or remitting the correct amount of taxes.  In Canada, the CRA enforces Canada’s income tax, Goods and Services Tax (“GST”), Harmonized Sales Tax (“HST”) and federal payroll taxes laws.  These tax systems all have an element of self-reporting. If the CRA auditor… Continue Reading

Ask Questions Before You Market Access into Canada?

Posted in AMPs, Canada's Federal Government, Corporate Counsel, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, GST/HST, origin, Sales Taxes, tariff classification, valuation

Many U.S. and foreign companies that sell goods on Internet-based retail platforms (both in-house platforms and Amazon-type platforms) should ask more questions as they access Canada’s consumer market.  Often, the first question asked by the foreign company is how to access the Canadian market (as they see dollar signs).  After they foreign company figures out… Continue Reading

August Civic Holiday: Survival Guide For Canada-US Cross Border Travel

Posted in Agriculture, Border Security, Customs Law, GST/HST, Immigration law, NEXUS, Personal Comments, Proceeds of Crime/Money Laundering

The August Civic Holiday long week-end will be here soon.  Canadians travel outside Canada to visit friends and family and to shop.  The Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) is on the lookout for contraventions of the Customs Act and other border laws. Here is our survival guide to make sure the CBSA is happy with your declaration and… Continue Reading

Canada’s Sales Tax Rates As At July 1, 2017

Posted in GST/HST

We often get asked by non-resident companies for Canada’s sales tax rates.  Canada imposes a federal sales tax called “goods and services tax” (or GST).  Some provinces have harmonized their sales tax with the GST.  The provincial portion is called “harmonized sales tax” (or HST).  Some provinces have not harmonized their provincial sales taxes with… Continue Reading

Non-Resident Importers Having Difficulties Dealing With The CBSA

Posted in Canada's Federal Government, Corporate Counsel, Cross-border deals, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, GST/HST, origin, tariff classification, valuation

Last week, I was informed by four different U.S. non-resident importers (or their representatives) that the non-resident companies were frustrated in their dealings with the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) – to the point that they may cease selling to Canadian customers.  While some of the complaints were more connected with customs brokers, many of the complaints… Continue Reading

What Is On Your NAFTA Renegotiation Wish List?

Posted in Aerospace & Defence, Antidumping, Border Security, Buy America, Canada's Federal Government, Corporate Counsel, Cross-border deals, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Energy, Government Procurement, GST/HST, Immigration law, Intellectual Property, Labour, NAFTA, NAFTA Chapter 11, origin, Politics, Provincial Governments, Softwood Lumber, Trade Agreeements, U.S. Federal Government

President Trump has said that he wants to renegotiate NAFTA.  Rather than taking a negative view of change, ask yourself “What is on my NAFTA Renegotation Wish List?”.  What changes to NAFTA could benefit your business?  What improvements to NAFTA can save your business money?  What adjustments will improve your business’ supply chain?  What should… Continue Reading

Importing Goods From China: Three Things You Must Do To Minimize Border Costs

Posted in Antidumping, Customs Law, GST/HST, Imports Restrictions, Intellectual Property, origin, tariff classification, Trade Remedies, valuation

Canadian businesses, small, medium and large import goods from China. It is a reality in a globalized supply chain.  Many Canadian businesses buy Chinese-origin goods from suppliers in a third country (e.g., the United States). Most businesses understand that they must pay all applicable customs duties at the time of importation.  Many companies understand that… Continue Reading

SME Importing and Exporting Toolkits Posted on the CBSA Website

Posted in AMPs, Border Security, Canada's Federal Government, Customs Law, Export Controls & Economic Sanctions, Exports, GST/HST, Imports Restrictions, NAFTA, NEXUS, origin, tariff classification, valuation

On August 22, 2016, the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) posted on its website toolkits for small to medium sized enterprises.  The toolkits cover (1) importing, (2) exporting, (3) other CBSA resources, (4) other governmental resources and (5) contact information.  However, the CBSA did not include the posting of the toolkits in its “Latest News”… Continue Reading

How To File A “Service Complaint” Against The Canada Revenue Agency

Posted in GST/HST

In writing this blog post, we are not advocating filing baseless, frivolous, vexatious and retaliatory “service complaints” against Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) auditors, collections officers and other employees of the CRA. However, we have learned from the experience of our clients that some legitimate complaints arise from time-to-time.  It is in the spirit of transparency… Continue Reading

Taxpayer Interest And Penalty Relief: How Can A Taxpayer Get Some Relief?

Posted in GST/HST

Canadian taxpayers are entitled to apply to the Canada Revenue Agency for taxpayer relief of penalties and interest.  All that is required is for a taxpayer who has been assessed to complete and submit an RC4288 form “Request for Taxpayer Relief – Cancel or Waive Penalties and Interest”.  This form can be used for goods and services… Continue Reading

Canadian Athletes Do Not Have To Pay Customs Duties And Border GST On Their Medals

Posted in Customs Law, GST/HST

Canadian Olympians returning home from the Rio Olympics (or any athletic competition for that matter) do not have to pay customs duties and goods and services tax (“GST”) on their medals.  No customs duties are payable under Harmonized System (H.S.) Code 98.17, which covers “medals, trophies and other articles (not including usual merchantable products nor… Continue Reading

10 Tips For Small Business Owners For Keeping Canada Revenue Agency Collections Officers Happy

Posted in GST/HST

Recently, I was contacted by a small business owner who had an unpleasant conversation with a Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) collections officer about an outstanding goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (“GST/HST”) assessment against his small company (of which he was a director).  The CRA collections officer had threatened to send the sheriff to his… Continue Reading

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Being A Non-Resident Importer Into Canada?

Posted in Cross-border trade, Customs Law, GST/HST, Imports Restrictions, Intellectual Property, origin, Sales Taxes, tariff classification, valuation

The Internet enables foreign companies to market and sell to Canadian consumers without setting up in Canada.  A common question of foreign sellers with opportunities to sell to Canadians is “Should I sell into Canada as a non-resident importer?” Before answering this question, we must go back to the basics. What is an importer?  The… Continue Reading

Why Should SMEs Care About Incoterms® Rules?

Posted in Cross-border deals, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, GST/HST, origin, tariff classification, valuation

Small and medium sized enterprises mistakenly accept costs and financial risk when they agree to Incoterms without considering the consequences. SMEs should care about Incoterms because mistakes can be costly – very costly. What is an Incoterm? Answer:  Incoterms is an abbreviation of the phrase International Commercial Terms. The Incoterms rules are a series of… Continue Reading

GST/HST Measures in the 2016 Federal Budget

Posted in GST/HST

Today, the Federal Government of Canada tabled the Budget.  There are a few GST/HST Measures.  The following is an excerpt from the Budget: Medical and Assistive Devices Medical and assistive devices that are specially designed to assist an individual in treating or coping with a chronic disease or illness or a physical disability are generally… Continue Reading

Do Currency Fluctuations Impact Importers?

Posted in Antidumping, Cross-border deals, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, GST/HST

The answer is “YES”, the current currency fluctuations in the Canadian dollar have an impact on importers.  Generally speaking, many importers in Canada purchase goods from foreign sources in United States dollars (foreign vendors do not desire Canadian dollars).  The current weakening of the Canadian dollar (on August 24, 2015, the Bank of Canada closing… Continue Reading