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Definitions for GST/HST


For GST/HST purposes, is generally used to describe a relationship between persons where one controls the other. An association may exist, for example, between two or more corporations, between an individual and a corporation, or between an individual and a partnership or trust. Also, a person is associated with another person if each of them is associated with the same third person.

Band-empowered entity

A "band-empowered entity" is a corporation, board, council, association, society, or other organization that is owned or controlled by a band, a tribal council, or a group of bands other than a tribal council. This policy is applicable to those band-empowered entities situated on a reserve. A band-empowered entity is considered to be situated on a reserve when the entity maintains a presence on reserve.

An entity is considered to be owned by a band, a tribal council or a group of bands other than a tribal council if:

  • the band, tribal council or group of bands owns all or substantially all (90 per cent) of the shares or holds all or substantially all of the memberships of the entity; or
  • the band, tribal council or group of bands holds title to the assets of the entity or controls its disposition, such that in the event of wind up or liquidation, these assets are vested in the band.

An entity is considered to be controlled by the band, tribal council or group or bands if:

  • the band, tribal council, group of bands or individual members of the band, tribal council or group of bands, appoint or elect a majority of the members of the governing body of the entity (e.g., directors); and
  • the entity is required by legislation, by-laws, or an operating agreement, to submit to the band, tribal council or group of bands, its operating budget and where applicable, its capital budget for review and approval.
Band management activities

A band management activities are activities or programs undertaken by a band or band-empowered entity that are not commercial activities for which they would otherwise be entitled to an input tax credit. In determining whether the acquisition of a supply is for band management, the output of the activity or program will be the determining factor, as opposed to the objectives of the activity or program. For example, a band's objective or program may be to provide employment and training to band members. To achieve this objective, the band may form a commercial enterprise which will provide on-the-job training and also create employment. Although the band's objective is to train persons, the output is a commercial activity for which there is an entitlement to input tax credits. As a result, supplies acquired for use in this band program are not considered to have been acquired for use in band management activities.

Basic tax content

Basic tax content of a property generally means the amount of GST/HST that you paid on the property, and on any improvements to the property, less any amounts that were reimbursed to you (such as rebates or remissions, but not input tax credits). You also have to consider the fair market value of the property as well as the value at last acquisition (including any improvements).


A builder is a person who is in the business of constructing new housing or substantially renovating housing on land owned or leased by that builder. A more detailed definition of builder can be found in the GST/HST New Housing Rebate guide.

Calendar quarter

A calendar quarter means a period of three consecutive months ending on the last day of any of the following months: March, June, September, and December.

Camping accommodation

A camping accommodation means the rental of a campsite at a campground or recreational trailer park for occupancy by an individual for less than one month of consecutive nights. Camping accommodation includes water, electricity, and waste disposal services that are provided with the campsite and accessed by outlet or hook-up.

Capital property

For GST/HST purposes is based on the meaning of the term for income tax purposes. It is:

  • any depreciable property (that is, property that is eligible or would be eligible for a capital cost allowance deduction in calculating your income for income tax purposes); and
  • any property, other than depreciable property, from which any gain or loss, if you disposed of the property, would be a capital gain or capital loss for income tax purposes.

Capital property is property that you buy for investment purposes or to earn income from its use rather than its sale. It may include real property, such as land or a building, or personal property, such as equipment or machinery that a business uses in its commercial or exempt activities.

Capital personal property

A capital peraonal property includes depreciable property that is eligible or would be eligible for a capital cost allowance for income tax purposes. It also includes any personal property, except depreciable property, the sale of which would give rise to a capital gain or loss for income tax purposes. For GST/HST purposes, capital personal property does not include property in Classes 12, 14, or 44 of Schedule II to the Income Tax Regulations.


A carrier means a person who provides freight transportation services, whether that person physically performs the services or not. A person only needs to accept responsibility as the supplier of the freight transportation service to be considered the carrier.

A person who has a contract with a shipper to move the shipper's goods from one place to another is still considered to be a carrier of the goods, even if the work is subcontracted to another person who physically performs the entire freight transportation service.

For GST/HST purposes, a person does not need a carrier licence to be a carrier. For instance, if independent owner-operators of highway tractors and courier vehicles provide freight transportation services, we will treat them as carriers whether or not they are required by law to be licensed as carriers.

Certified amount

Certified amount is the part of the purchase price (excluding any GST/HST and provincial tax) that the supplier has certified as being reasonably attributable to special features that have been incorporated into, or adaptations that have been made to, the vehicle for the purpose of its use by or in transporting an individual using a wheelchair, or to equip the vehicle with an auxiliary driving control that allows an individual with a disability to operate it.


A charity means a registered charity or registered Canadian amateur athletic association for income tax purposes, which has a registration number that allows it to issue official receipts for income tax purposes. A charity does not include a public institution for GST/HST purposes.

Commercial activity

A commercial activity means any business, adventure, or concern in the nature of trade carried on by certain persons, but does not include the making of exempt supplies. It also includes the supply of real property by any person, other than an exempt supply, and anything done in the course of making the supply or in connection with the supply.

A commercial activity does not include any business or adventure or concern in the nature of trade carried on without a reasonable expectation of profit by an individual, a personal trust, or a partnership where all the members are individuals.


A consignee means a person to whom:

  • a consignment may be made;
  • goods are shipped for sale;
  • a carrier delivers according to the contract of carriage; or
  • goods are consigned, shipped or otherwise transmitted.
Continuous freight movement

A continuous freight movement means the transportation of goods by one or more carriers to a destination specified by the shipper of the goods, where the shipper of the goods instructs the carriers to supply the freight transportation services.

Continuous outbound freight movement

A continuous outbound freight movement means the transportation of goods by one or more carriers from a place in Canada to a place outside Canada, or to another place in Canada from which the goods are to be exported. After the shipper transfers possession of the goods to a carrier, and before the goods are exported, the goods must not be further processed, transformed, or altered in Canada, except to the extent necessary to transport the goods.


A convention is a formal meeting or assembly that is not open to the general public. However, a convention does not include a meeting or assembly mainly intended to:

  • provide any type of amusement, entertainment, or recreation;
  • conduct contests or games of chance; or
  • conduct business, unless it is in the course of a trade show that is not open to the general public.
Convention facility

A convention facility is any premises leased or provided under a license to a sponsor or organizer of a convention for use exclusively as the site for the convention. It includes the sites that are made available to the exhibitors at the convention.


A corporation is a legal entity that can conduct business in its own name, enter into contracts and own property.  A corporation can incorporate at either the federal, provincial, or territorial level and is identified by the terms "Limited", "Ltd.", "Incorporated", "Inc.", "Corporation", or "Corp.". Whatever the term, it must appear with the corporate name on all documents, stationary, and so on, as it appears on the incorporation document.


A courier means a commercial carrier that is engaged in scheduled international transportation of shipments of goods other than goods imported by mail.


An election is a way for businesses and organizations to choose various options that make it easier to comply with GST/HST. These options allow you to adapt the administrative requirements of GST/HST to your business activities. Each election has its own eligibility requirements.

Eligible capital property

An eligible capital property generally means property that does not physically exist but that gives you a lasting economic benefit. Some examples are goodwill, or franchises, concessions, or licenses for an unlimited period.

Exempt supplies

Exempt supplies are goods and services that are not subject to GST/HST. GST/HST registrants cannot claim input tax credits to recover the GST/HST they pay or owe on expenses related to such supplies.

Fair market value

If you build or substantially renovate your own home, fair market value is normally based on the value of both the home and applicable land, and should be comparable to the value of similar properties in the local real estate market. Fair market value does not include GST/HST or provincial land transfer taxes.

Fiscal year

Fiscal year means where a person has elected to change their fiscal year, the period that the person elected to be the fiscal year of the person and, in all other cases, the taxation year of the person.

Foreign convention

Foreign convention is a convention where:

  • it is reasonably expected that at least 75% of the admissions are to be supplied to non residents of Canada when the sponsor of the convention determines the amount to be charged for the admissions; and
  • the sponsor of the convention is an organization whose head office is situated outside Canada or, if the organization has no head office, the member or majority of members having management and control of the organization is or are non resident.
Floating home

A floating home is a structure designed to be occupied as a place of residence for individuals that is permanently affixed to a floating platform and is incapable of, or cannot be readily adaptable for, self-propulsion (it is not a house-boat or pleasure craft).

Freight transportation service

Freight transportation service means the movement of goods by rail, water, highway, or air. It includes postal and courier services, as well as incidental property or services supplied by a carrier, such as warehouse, packing, and loading services, whether or not a separate charge is made for them. These incidental charges may be taxed GST, HST, or zero-rated depending on the GST/HST status of the basic freight charge.


Goodwill is the excess of the purchase price of a business over the fair market value of the net assets of the business.

Gross revenue

Gross revenue includes business income, donations, grants, gifts, property income, and investment income, less any amount considered a capital loss for income tax purposes.

You can determine your gross revenue by referring to your Form T3010A, Registered Charity Information Return, that you file for income tax purposes:

  • if you use the cash method of accounting, simply take the total amounts received from all sources on line 118 ; or
  • if you use the accrual method of accounting, add the amounts receivable indicated on lines 052 and  053 to your total on line 118.

Whether your charity is incorporated or unincorporated, you have to use the gross revenue of your organization as a whole (the legal entity) to determine if you qualify as a small supplier under this test.

Gross revenue test

The annual limit for the gross revenue test for a charity is $250,000. When calculating your gross revenue for this test, you do not have to determine if the goods and services you sell or provide are subject to GST/HST. The test works as follows:

  • if you are in your first fiscal year, you do not have to register for GST/HST;
  • if you are in your second fiscal year, calculate your gross revenue from your first fiscal year. If this amount is $250,000 or less, you do not have to register (regardless of your total revenue from taxable goods and services); or
  • if this is neither your first nor your second fiscal year, calculate your gross revenue in each of your two previous fiscal years. If this amount is $250,000 or less in either of these years, you do not have to register, (regardless of your total revenue from taxable goods and services).

The GST (goods and services tax) is a tax that you pay on most goods and services sold or provided in Canada. In Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, the GST has been blended with the provincial sales tax and is called the HST (harmonized sales tax).

Hospital authority

Hospital authority means an organization that operates a public hospital and that is designated by the Minister as a hospital authority for GST/HST purposes.


Import means import into Canada.


Improvement to capital property is generally any property or service acquired or imported to improve the capital property when the amount paid or payable for that property or service is included in the adjusted cost base of the capital property for income tax purposes.

Incentive house or incentive travel company

Incentive house or incentive travel company is a business that assembles some or all of the elements of an incentive trip by buying them from travel service providers (for example, airline companies and hotels) and offering them for sale to another business. The incentive house bills the client for these costs along with its service charge. The client in turn offers the incentive trip to its employees or sales agents. In some cases, an incentive house may qualify as an organizer of a convention.

Incentive travel or incentive trip

Incentive travel or incentive trip is a trip that a business offers as an award to recognize or reward the productivity of its employees or sales agents. It may include business meetings, seminars, or conventions, as long as the participants are all from the same organization. If an incentive trip includes business meetings, the meetings may qualify as a convention. In this case, an in-house planner can be a sponsor.


An "Indian" is a person who is registered under the Indian Act. An Indian does not have to live or maintain a residence on a reserve. Such a person may be issued a Certificate of Indian Status by the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

Indian Band

An "Indian Band", for purposes of the GST/HST, includes both a band council and a tribal council. The band council is the primary unit of an Indian government.

In-house planner

In-house planner is a member or employee of a business who organizes a business meeting or incentive trip for the business. The business cannot be a travel service provider. However, it may buy services directly from travel service providers, or buy all or part of a tour package from an incentive house or travel organizer. An in-house planner can be a sponsor of a convention, if the business meeting it organizes qualifies as a convention.

An in-house planner who organizes a convention will follow the GST/HST and TVQ rules that apply to convention sponsors.

Input tax credit (ITC)

ITC means a credit GST/HST registrants can claim to recover the GST/HST they paid or owe to their suppliers for goods or services they acquired, imported, or brought into a participating province to provide taxable goods and services.

Intangible personal property

Intangible personal property is generally a "right" rather than a physical object. It includes such things as contractual rights, options, intellectual property, rights in relation to goods that are not in possession, and other rights that are enforceable by the courts.

Joint Venture

A joint venture is an arrangement where two or more persons work together in a limited and defined business undertaking. Ordinarily, all participants of the joint venture contribute assets, share risks, and have mutual liability.

A joint venture agreement is not a continuing relationship between participants. For example, the venture may be for one specific business project. Once the project is completed, the joint venture ceases to exist.

Generally, participants in a joint venture name one participant to be the "joint venture operator". This person accounts for the day-to-day operations of the joint venture. The BN of the operator is used.

The operator can add GST/HST and payroll accounts to his/her BN if he/she wants to account for the joint venture activities separate from other activities.

Limited partnership or Limited liability partnership (LLP)

A limited partnership exists when some are partners and others are limited partners. Partners will operate the business on a day-to-day basis. The limited partners contribute capital, take no part in control or management, and have limited liability for debts.

A limited liability partnership (LLP) has some characteristics of a partnership and a corporation. Normally, professionals such as accountants and lawyers form LLP's. All partnerships should draw up an agreement with the assistance of a lawyer. This agreement is to protect all partners in the event of a disagreement, death of a partner, or closure of the business.

Major addition

For an addition to qualify for a new housing rebate, the construction of the addition must change the character of the existing unit to such a fundamental extent that the resulting structure is essentially a new single unit residential complex or residential condominium unit. This fundamental change could mean that the original unit together with the addition form a newly constructed single unit residential complex or residential condominium unit, or that the existing unit was incorporated into the addition to form the newly constructed single unit residential complex or residential condominium unit. For more information, see Memorandum 19.3.7, Real Property Rebates--Special Issues.

Mobile home

A mobile home is a building, the manufacture and assembly of which is completed or substantially completed, that is equipped with complete plumbing, electrical, and heating facilities. It is designed to be moved to a site for installation on a foundation and connection to service facilities, and to be occupied as a place of residence. This definition also includes a modular home. It does not include travel trailers, motor homes, camping trailers, or other vehicles or trailers designed for recreational use.

Modification service

Modification service means a service (including parts) performed on a motor vehicle to specially equip or adapt the vehicle for its use by or in transporting an individual using a wheelchair, or to specially equip the vehicle with an auxiliary driving control to allow an individual with a disability to operate it.

A rebate for modification services is only available where the modification services have been performed on a vehicle outside Canada or outside a participating province and brought back into Canada or into a participating province (subject to tax on the value added). Modification services performed within Canada or in a participating province are zero-rated.

Before November 27, 2006, a rebate for a modification service performed outside Canada or outside a participating province and imported or brought back into Canada or into a participating province was not available if the vehicle was used by anyone except to the extent reasonably necessary to deliver it, to import it, or to bring it into NS, NB, or NL:

  • after the modification service was performed; and
  • before the vehicle was imported into Canada or brought into NS, NB, or NL.

After November 26, 2006, this restriction has been removed and a vehicle purchased after April 3, 1998, that was used after modification would now qualify for this rebate.

Modular home

A modular home is considered to be a mobile home for purposes of the GST/HST new housing rebate. A modular home is a factory-built house or building intended for residential occupancy that comprises "modules" with three walls and a roof or ceiling. It has to be equipped with complete plumbing, electrical, and heating facilities, and designed to be moved to a site for installation on a foundation and to be connected to service facilities, and used as a place of residence. In addition, the modules are to be in as finished a condition as possible before leaving the manufacturer's premises, considering that they must be transported.


Municipality means an incorporated city, town, village, metropolitan authority, township, district, county or rural municipality or other incorporated municipal body however designated. It also includes such other local authority as we may determine to be a municipality.

Non-profit organization (NPO)

NPO means a person (other than an individual, estate, trust, charity, public institution, municipality, or government) that meets the following conditions:

  • It is organized and operated solely for non-profit purposes.
  • It does not distribute or make available any of its income for the personal benefit of any proprietor, member, or shareholder, unless the proprietor, member, or shareholder is a club, a society, or an association which has, as its primary purpose and function, the promotion of amateur athletics in Canada.

A non-resident means not resident in Canada.


An organizer of a convention is a person (for example, proprietor, partnership, corporation, or association), including a consultant, meeting planner, or incentive travel house, who acquires the convention facility or related convention supplies and organizes the event for a sponsor.

Owner-built home

An owner-built home is a home constructed or substantially renovated by the owner of the home, the owner's contractor, or a combination of both.

Participating province

Participating province means the province of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, or Newfoundland and Labrador.

Effective January 1, 2008, the GST rate is 5%, and the HST rate is 13%.


A partnership exists when each member shares in the management of the business and has personal liability for the business debts and obligations. Each partner is responsible for the actions of the other partner(s). The partnership itself is the business that receives a GST/HST number not each partner.

Characteristics of a partnership:

  • association between two or more persons;
  • each partner is co-owner of the business;
  • each partner contributes money, property and/or skills;
  • each partner is entitled to a share of the profit/losses based on the partnership agreement; and
  • each partner is considered self-employed and reports their share of income/loss on a T1 Individual Tax and Benefit Return.
Permanent establishment

Permanent establishement of a person generally means:

  • the person's fixed place of business through which the person supplies property or services, including a place of management, a branch, an office, a factory, or a workshop; or a mine, an oil or gas well, a quarry, timberland, or any other place where natural resources are extracted; or
  • a fixed place of business of someone else (other than a broker or an agent) who is acting in Canada for the person and through whom the person supplies property or services in the ordinary course of business.

A person means an individual, a partnership, a corporation, the estate of a deceased individual, a trust, or any organization such as a society, a union, a club, an association, or a commission.

Place of business

Place of business means any premises, facility, or installation used to carry on business, whether or not it is used exclusively for that purpose. Premises, facilities, or installations may be considered to be a place of business whether they are owned or rented, or, in some cases, where they are simply available to the business.

Prescribed publications

Prescribed publications are:

  • books, newspapers, periodicals, magazines, and any similar printed publications, other than those described in section 1 of Schedule VII to the Excise Tax Act; and
  • audio recordings that relate to such publications and accompany those publications when submitted to Canada Post or a customs officer.
Primary place of residence

Your primary place of residence means a residential unit, owned jointly or otherwise, that is intended to be inhabited by an individual on a permanent basis. It may be located in or outside Canada. You may have more than one place of residence, but are considered to have only one primary place of residence. For rebate purposes, if you have more than one place of residence, consider some of the following factors to determine whether the residence qualifies as your primary place of residence:

  • whether you consider the home as your main residence;
  • the length of time the premises are inhabited; and
  • the designation of that address on your personal and public records.

This means that you cannot generally receive a rebate for an investment property or a recreational cottage.


Property means any property, whether real or personal, movable or immovable, tangible or intangible, corporeal or incorporeal, and includes a right or interest of any kind, a share and a chose in action, but does not include money.

Public college

A public college means an organization that operates a post-secondary college or post-secondary technical institute:

  • that receives funds from a government or a municipality to assist in the ongoing provision of educational services to the general public; and
  • whose primary purpose is to provide programs of instruction in one or more fields of vocation, technical, or general education.
Public institution

A public institution means a registered charity for income tax purposes that is also a school authority, public college, university, hospital authority, or a local authority determined to be a municipality.

Public sector body

A public sector body means a government or a public service body.

Public service body

A public service body means a charity, non-profit organization, municipality, school authority, hospital authority, public college, or university.

Qualifying motor vehicle

Qualifying motor vehicle means a motor vehicle that is equipped with a device designed exclusively to assist in placing a wheelchair in the vehicle without having to collapse the wheelchair, or with an auxiliary driving control to facilitate the operation of the vehicle by an individual with a disability.

Before November 27, 2006, a motor vehicle would only qualify if it was new or had not been used since being specially equipped. This restriction has been removed for motor vehicles purchased after April 3, 1998. Beginning on November 27, 2006, you have four years to claim this rebate on a motor vehicle that was purchased after April 3, 1998, and did not previously qualify for this rebate.

Qualifying motor vehicles do not include ambulances, but do include vehicles such as para-transit buses and vans that are specially equipped.

Qualifying non-profit organization (NPO)

Qualifying NPO is an NPO whose percentage of government funding is at least 40% of its total revenue.

Real property

A real property includes:

  • a mobile home or floating home and any leasehold or proprietary interest therein;
  • in Quebec, immovable property and every lease thereof; and
  • in any other place in Canada, all land, buildings of a permanent nature, and any interest in real property.
Registered Charity

A registered charity is an organization established and operated for charitable purposes, and must devote its resources to charitable activities. The charity must be resident in Canada, and cannot use its income to benefit its members.

A charity also has to meet a public benefit test. To qualify under this test, an organization must show that:

  • its activities and purposes provide a tangible benefit to the public;
  • those people who are eligible for benefits are either the public as a whole, or a significant section of it, in that they are not a restricted group or one where members share a private connection, such as social clubs or professional associations with specific membership; and
  • the charity's activities must be legal and must not be contrary to public policy.

To register as a charity, the organization has to be either incorporated or governed by a legal document called a trust or a constitution. This document has to explain the organization's purposes and structure.


A registrant means a person or an organization that is registered, or is required to be registered, for GST/HST. Registrants usually collect and remit GST/HST on their taxable supplies and have to file GST/HST returns regularly.

Related individual

A relation means an individual related to you by blood, marriage, common-law partnership, or adoption within the meaning of the Income Tax Act . "Blood relation" is limited to parents, children, or other descendants or siblings. "Marriage relation" includes your spouse or a person who is connected to your spouse by blood or adoption. A relation includes a common-law partner, a former spouse or a former common-law partner.


A "reserve" means a reserve within the meaning of the Indian Act, that is, a tract of land which has been set apart for the use and benefit of a band within the meaning of the Indian Act, and equivalent lands under self-government legislation, i.e. the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act and the Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act. "Reserve" also includes "designated land", which, according to the Indian Act, is a tract of land whose legal title remains vested in Her Majesty and in which the band for whose use and benefit it was set apart as a reserve has, otherwise than absolutely, released or surrendered its rights or interests.

Residential condominium unit

A residential condominium unit means a residential complex that is a separate unit within a building that is, or is intended to be, registered or described on a condominium or strata lot plan (or similar plan or description registered under provincial law), and includes any interest in land pertaining to ownership of the unit.

Residential complex

A residential complex generally includes a building, or part of a building, in which one or more residential units are located. It also generally includes any common areas and the land on which the complex is situated. A residential complex includes a house, a semi-detached house, a condominium apartment, an apartment building, a duplex, and a mobile home.

School authority

A school authority means an organization that operates an elementary or secondary school in which it provides instruction that meets the standards of educational instruction established by the government of the province or territory in which the school is operated.

Selected public service body

A selected public service body means:

  • a hospital authority;
  • a school authority, university, or public college that is established and operated other than for profit;
  • a municipality;
  • a facility operator; or
  • an external supplier.
Self-government refund

Self-government refund refers to a refund available to a First Nation that has entered into an agreement with the Government of Canada that provides for a refund of GST for goods and services that are acquired for self-government activities. The terms and conditions that apply to the refund of GST are included in each agreement. For example, the Nisga'a Nation and certain Yukon First Nations have entered into such agreements.


A service means anything other than property, money, and anything that is provided to an employer by an employee in the course of employment. Some examples of services include:

  • guide or interpreter services;
  • transportation services;
  • sightseeing excursions; and
  • ski lessons.

The following do not qualify as services as they are property:

  • short-term (including camping) accommodation;
  • meals;
  • a right to enter or attend an event, such as tickets to a show or a hockey game;
  • car rentals;
  • ski rentals;
  • ski lift tickets;
  • golf green fees; and
  • park passes.

Property means any type of property and includes goods and a right or interest of any kind but does not include money.


A shipper of goods means the person who transfers possession of the goods being shipped to a carrier at the origin of a continuous freight movement or a continuous outbound freight movement. A shipper does not include a carrier.

Short-term accommodation

A short-term accommodation means, for this refund, accommodation provided for continuous occupancy by an individual for less than one month and includes:

  • hotels and motels;
  • resorts and lodges;
  • camping accomodation;
  • bed-and-breakfast establishments; and
  • tents and similar structures provided as part of a tour package that includes food and the services of a guide for an all inclusive price. An example of this type of package would be an outdoor adventure tour package.

Short-term accommodation does not include the following:

  • cruise-ship cabins and train berths;
  • houseboats;
  • rentals of travel trailers and all recreational vehicles;
  • a residential complex or unit when it is supplied under a timeshare arrangement; and
  • accommodation included in the non-taxable part of a tour package.
Single unit residential complex

For the New Housing Rebate, a single unit residential complex is a housing unit that does not contain more than two residential units, such as a detached single family home, a semi-detached home, an individually owned row house unit (a freehold townhouse), a mobile home, or a floating home. It may also include a duplex or a unit in a cooperative housing corporation. It does not include a residential condominium unit.

It also includes any other residential complex containing one or more residential units rented for short-term accommodation to the public. The complex must also be used primarily (more than 50%) as a place of residence of the owner (an individual), a relation of the owner, or a former spouse or common-law partner of the owner. Short-term accommodations supplied to the public include rooms in a hotel, motel, inn, boarding house, lodging house, or similar premises. For example, a home containing several rooms for rent, as part of a bed and breakfast business, may now be considered a single unit residential complex for purposes of this rebate if the home is used primarily as a place of residence of the individual, a relation, a former spouse or a former common-law partner of the individual.

A single unit residential complex generally includes other structures near or adjacent to the home, such as detached garages or sheds. It also includes the land subjacent and immediately contiguous to the unit that can reasonably be regarded as contributing to the use and enjoyment of the unit as a place of residence. We consider that half a hectare (1.23 acres) of land is generally reasonably necessary for the use and enjoyment of a unit. However, in some cases, more than half a hectare of land may be considered to form part of the complex (such as the minimum lot size imposed by a municipality or excess land necessary for you to access public roads). For more information, call 1-800-959-5525.

Small supplier

A small supplier includes charities, and other public service bodies, that are engaged in commercial activity with revenues from worldwide taxable supplies (not including sales of capital property and financial services) equal to or less than $50,000 in the current calendar quarter and over the preceding four consecutive calendar quarters. The threshold for businesses that are not public service bodies is $30,000. Charities are also small suppliers if they meet the gross revenue test of $250,000 or less.

Sole proprietorship (self employed)

A sole proprietorship is an unincorporated business owned and managed by one individual.

Sole proprietors are fully responsible for all debts and obligations related to their business. A creditor with a claim against a sole proprietor would normally have a right against all business and personal assets, meaning the creditor could seize some of your personal belongings. This is known as unlimited liability.

Characteristics of a sole proprietorship:

  • business not incorporated;
  • the owner has sole responsibility for decision making;
  • the owner receives all profits and takes responsibility for all losses that are incurred by the business; and
  • the owner is considered self-employed and reports the business income on a T1 Individual Income Tax Return.

A sponsor of a convention is a person (for example, proprietor, partnership, corporation, or association) who convenes the convention and supplies admissions to it. For example, a sponsor could be an association that holds a conference for its members or a corporation that holds a meeting for its employees.

An in-house planner who organizes a convention will follow the GST/HST and TVQ rules that apply to sponsors.

Substantial completion

Substantial completion generally means that construction or substantial renovation of a complex is at a stage where you can reasonably inhabit the premises. Minor repairs, adjustments, or outstanding upgrades are not considered to impair the use and enjoyment of the housing unit as a place of residence.

Substantial renovation

Substantial renovation of a residential complex means the renovation or alteration of a building to such an extent that all or substantially all (90% or more) of the building that existed immediately before the renovation or alteration was begun, other than the foundation, external walls, interior supporting walls, floors, roof and staircases, has been removed or replaced where, after completion of the renovation or alteration, the building is, or forms part of, a residential complex.


A supply means the provision of property or a service in any way, including sale, transfer, barter, exchange, licence, rental, lease, gift, and disposition.

Taxable supplies

Taxable supplies refer to supplies of goods and services that are provided in the course of a commercial activity and are subject to GST/HST, or are 0% (zero-rated).

Tour package

A tour package must be an eligible tour package to qualify for the rebate for tour packages or shorth-term accommodation for resale as part of a tour package. An eligible tour package must include either short-term and/or camping accommodation in Canada and at least one service. Examples of services would be transportation services or guide or interpreter services. In addition, the package must be sold for an all-inclusive price. Packages that include a convention facility or related convention supplies are not eligible tour packages for purposes of these GST/HST rebates.

Travel service providers

A travel service providers include travel agents, hotels, air carriers, tour operators, and cruise operators. If you buy travel services or tour packages in the course of your business to resell, we consider you to be a travel service provider.

Tribal council

A tribal council is another level of Indian government. It is a grouping of bands with a common interest who have joined together to provide advisory or program services for two or more bands. Band council members compose the tribal council Board of Directors.


A university means a recognized degree-granting institution or an organization that operates a college affiliated with, or a research body of, such an institution.

Zero-rated supplies

Zero-rated supplies refer to a limited number of goods and services that are taxable at the rate of 0%. This means there is no GST/HST charged on the supply of these goods and services, but GST/HST registrants can claim an ITC for the GST/HST they pay or owe on purchases and expenses made to provide them.

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