As the three Atlantic provinces harmonized with the GST in 1996, Ontario and BC in 2010, and PEI in 2013 on the same day that BC de-harmonized, the familiarity with the PST has lessened. Furthermore, each province has its own unique rules in the application of its respective tax.

With this course, you can gain a better understanding and improve your knowledge of Provincial Sales Taxes.

A broad outline of the four main provincial sales taxes will be outlined, starting with basic concepts and moving toward more complex and province-specific subjects.

Participants will leave the course with a better understanding of the major issues that can impact a person operating in the four provinces, and with a better knowledge of the differences between the four jurisdictions.

This course is intended to provide exposure to the key topics that concern the application of the four province’s sales tax regimes.

The course will start with a high level discussion on the policy intent and application of a “use” tax compared to the application of a “value-added tax” (VAT). While the three prairie provinces’ sales tax is a single stage “use” tax, the Quebec Sales Tax (QST) is a VAT very similar to the GST/HST. Accordingly, many concepts of the QST will be a separate component of the course.

Businesses often venture into a PST province not knowing what their added costs will be. They may also venture into Quebec which has a VAT harmonized with GST/HST, but is not harmonized in it’s administration. Common feedback from GST/HST courses is a wish for a course on PST.

Most of the concepts in the taxes will be covered. Examples are provided to demonstrate the application of many concepts.

Concepts covered include:

  • When to register for the PST or QST when doing business in the respective jurisdictions
  • What is taxed
  • What are the exemptions to the tax
  • Who is subject to the tax
  • Sale vs. use or consumption
  • Assets brought into jurisdictions for temporary use
  • Application to Real Property & Real Property Contractors
  • Saskatchewan’s significant changes in 2017
  • Use that originates from outside the jurisdiction such as software and promotional distribution
  • When services are taxable
  • Reporting obligations and entitlements


By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Determine if and when a person should register for PST or QST
  • Determine when tax applies on property and services and when to charge tax
  • Look for the opportunity to use exemptions
  • Know what information is needed to support an exempt sale
  • Bid on contract proposals, knowing how their costs are impacted by the PST
  • Be better prepared to respond to government audit queries


  • PST vs. GST/HST; and QST vs. GST/HST
  • Legislation and tax rates
  • Sales tax base – application of PST and QST to property
  • Taxable Services for PST
  • Motor vehicles, boats and aircraft
  • Real property contractors
  • Assets brought into jurisdiction for temporary use
  • Exemptions: Consumer goods, agriculture, manufacturers & producers, by class of person
  • Reorganizations and transfers
  • Refunds
  • Administration and Enforcement
  • New issues arising:
    • Quebec’s “Netflix” amendments
    • US Wayfair Case


    Whether working in industry or public practice, persons responsible for sales tax matters will gain added information and knowledge from this course.