If think that your new business may have to charge GST/HST you need to know the difference between zero rated and exempt goods and services because not all businesses need to charge this tax.
For the customer there is no difference between GST exempt and zero rated goods as in both cases they are not charged the tax. For businesses there is a difference in how the two classes of goods and services have to be entered onto the GST return. Normally when completing the return a business can claim input tax credits to recover the GST paid or owed on business purchases and expenses.
Which goods and services are zero rated?
Which good and services are exempt?
Some goods and services that are exempt from the federal GST are not exempt at the provincial level in provinces that charge a provincial sales tax so they are subject to the tax. As each province is different businesses should refer to the exemption list for the province in which they are doing business. For British Columbia check PST Exemptions.
From an article by Susan Ward
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