Nova Scotia is one of the provinces in Canada that charges a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) of 15%. The HST is applied to most goods and services, although there are some categories that are exempt or rebated from the HST.
The HST was adopted in Nova Scotia on July 1st, 2010. The HST is made up of two components: an 10% provincial sales tax and a 5% federal sales tax.
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Most exemptions and rebates to the federal 5% portion of the HST also apply to the provincial 10% portion. There are also categories of goods and services that are not charged the provincial portion of HST. These rebates and exemptions are separate from the ones granted on a national level.
These categories include:
Registered First Nations granted rebates on both the provincial and federal portions of the HST for products and services bought and used on-reserve. See Source for more information.
There are two types of exemptions for HST: direct exemptions and zero-rated goods and services. The difference is related to how businesses handle costs related to the exemptions, but as a consumer, you would not have to pay HST on items from either category.
Goods and services that are zero-rated from the federal portion of the HST include:
Goods and services that are directly exempt from the federal portion of the HST include:
Sales taxes also contribute to the Canadian government’s budget. The 5% Goods and Services Tax is expected to bring $40.8 billion in tax revenue during the 2019 fiscal year. This amounts to 14.2% of total tax revenue on the federal level. This is almost double the amount Canada spends on national defence every year.