Can someone please explain how the HST is supposed to be helping my small business? Do you ever feel you’ve been had? The Ontario Government spent months claiming that, “Small Businesses Will Get Big Boost From HST”. In fact, John Wilkinson, the Ontario Minister of Revenue asserted, "Small business is the lifeblood of our economy - small business owners are often the embodiment of the hard work and ingenuity that distinguishes Ontario as an economic leader. Our government's Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth will be a huge advantage to this vital sector of our economy and, as a result, to the rest of the province." Please bear with me … I promise this won’t be a boring, detailed tax lecture only Chartered Accountants and Tax Lawyers will understand. For those of you not living in Canada, HST is probably an unknown acronym. HST stands for the “Harmonized Sales Tax”, the new tax system implemented in Ontario and several other provinces across Canada. PST stands for Provincial Sales Tax – our provincial tax prior to the HST. Now, I’m certainly not a tax expert but the only outcome of the new tax has been huge tax increases on all of the products and services I’m paying for including:
- Fabric & notions: As a manufacturer, I used to be PST exempt on all supplies used in the making of my product. The reasoning behind this was that customers were paying PST on the final product and, therefore, there shouldn’t be layers of layers of additional taxes.
- Every marketplace booth or trade show booth is now subject to 13% HST.
- Lawyers’, Photographers and Accountants’ fees are now taxed at 13%.
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