Federal Budget 2021: Sales & Excise Tax

GST New Housing Rebate

The GST New Housing Rebate entitles homebuyers to recover 36% of the GST (or the federal component of the HST) paid on the purchase of a new home priced up to $350,000. The maximum rebate is $6,300.

The GST New Housing Rebate is phased out for new homes priced between $350,000 and $450,000. There is no GST New Housing Rebate for new homes priced at $450,000 or more. In addition to these price thresholds, several other conditions must be met.

In particular, the purchaser must be acquiring the new home for use as their primary place of residence or as the primary place of residence of a relation (i.e., an individual related by blood, marriage, common-law partnership or adoption, or a former spouse or former common-law partner).

Under the current rules, if two or more individuals who are not considered relations for GST New Housing Rebate purposes buy a new home together, all of those individuals must meet this condition – otherwise none of them will be eligible for the GST New Housing Rebate.

Budget 2021 proposes to make the GST New Housing Rebate available as long as the new home is acquired for use as the primary place of residence of any one of the purchasers or relation of any one of the purchasers.

This measure would apply to agreements of purchase and sale entered into after Budget Day. For owner-built homes, the measure would apply where construction or substantial renovation of the residential complex is substantially completed after Budget Day.

Input Tax Credit (ITC) Information Requirements

Businesses can claim ITCs to recover the GST/HST that they pay for goods and services used as inputs in their commercial activities. Businesses must obtain and retain certain information in order to support their ITC claims, such as invoices or receipts.

The information requirements for these documents are graduated, with progressively more information required when the amount paid or payable in respect of a supply equals or exceeds thresholds of $30 or $150.

Budget 2021 proposes to increase these thresholds to $100 (from $30) and $500 (from $150).

In addition, under the ITC information rules, either the supplier or an intermediary (i.e., a person that causes or facilitates the making of a supply on behalf of the supplier) must provide its business name and, depending on the amount paid or payable in respect of the supply, its GST/HST registration number, on the supporting documents.

However, for the purposes of these rules, an intermediary currently does not include a billing agent (i.e., an agent that collects consideration and tax on behalf of an underlying vendor but does not otherwise cause or facilitate a supply).

Instead, the recipient of the supply must obtain the business name and registration number of the underlying vendor. Budget 2021 proposes to allow billing agents to be treated as intermediaries for purposes of the ITC information rules, removing this complexity.

These measures would come into force on the day after Budget Day.

Application of GST/HST to E-commerce

In the Fall Economic Statement 2020, the government proposed a number of changes to the GST/HST system relating to the digital economy, applicable to non-resident vendors supplying digital products or services, shipping goods from Canadian fulfillment warehouses, or facilitating short-term rental accommodation in Canada.

Under the proposals, GST/HST would be required to be collected and remitted by these entities commencing on July 1, 2021. Simplified registration and remittance frameworks would be available to these entities.

Budget 2021 proposes amendments to these proposals to take stakeholder feedback into account, including safe harbour rules to protect platform operators who reasonably relied on the information provided by a third-party supplier, and clarifying several aspects of the legislation.

Excise Duty on Vaping Products

Budget 2021 proposes to implement a tax on vaping products in 2022 through the introduction of a new excise duty framework. Feedback from industry and stakeholders on these proposals will be accepted until June 30, 2021 at: fin.vaping-taxation-vapotage.fin@canada.ca.

The new excise duty framework would be similar to existing excise duties on tobacco, wine, spirits, and cannabis products. It would apply to vaping liquids that are produced in Canada or imported and that are intended for use in a vaping device in Canada.

These liquids generally contain vegetable glycerin, as well as any combination of propylene glycol, flavouring, nicotine, or other ingredients, all of which must comply with Health Canada regulations. The new duty would apply to these vaping liquids whether or not they contain nicotine.

Cannabis-based vaping products would be explicitly exempt from this framework, as they are already subject to cannabis excise duties under the Act.

The proposed framework would impose a single flat rate duty on every 10 millilitres (ml) of vaping liquid or fraction thereof, within an immediate container (i.e., the container holding the liquid itself).

This rate could be in the order of $1.00 per 10 ml or fraction thereof. The last federal licensee in the supply chain who packaged the vaping product for final retail sale, including vape shops holding an excise licence, as applicable, would be liable to pay the applicable excise duty.

Registration and licensing would not be required for individuals who mix vaping liquids strictly for their own personal consumption.

Tax on Select Luxury Goods

Budget 2021 proposes to introduce a tax on the retail sale of new luxury cars and personal aircraft priced over $100,000, and boats priced over $250,000, effective as of January 1, 2022.

For vehicles, aircraft and boats sold in Canada, the tax would apply at the point of purchase if the final sale price paid by a consumer (not including GST/HST or provincial sales tax) is above the $100,000 or $250,000 price threshold, as the case may be. Importations of vehicles, aircraft and boats would also be subject to the tax.

This tax would apply to the following;


New passenger vehicles are typically suitable for personal use, including coupes, sedans, station wagons, sports cars, passenger vans and minivans equipped to accommodate less than 10 passengers, SUVs, and passenger pick-up trucks.

It would not apply to motorcycles and certain off-road vehicles, such as all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles, racing cars (i.e., vehicles that are not street legal and are owned solely for on-track or off-road racing); and motor homes (commonly known as recreational vehicles, or RVs) that are designed to provide temporary living, sleeping, or eating accommodation for travel, vacation, seasonal camping, or recreational use.

Off-road, construction and farm vehicles would fall outside the scope of the tax. Similarly, certain commercial (e.g., heavy-duty vehicles such as some trucks and cargo vans) and public sector (such as buses, police cars and ambulances) vehicles, as well as hearses, would not be subject to the tax.


New aircraft are typically suitable for personal use, including aeroplanes, helicopters and gliders. As a general rule, it would not apply to large aircraft typically used in commercial activities, such as those equipped for the carriage of passengers and having a certified maximum carrying capacity of more than 39 passengers.

Smaller aircraft used in certain commercial (such as public transportation) and public sector (police, military and rescue aircraft, air ambulances) activities would also be excluded.

3. Boats 

New boats such as yachts, recreational motorboats and sailboats, typically suitable for personal use. Smaller personal watercraft (e.g., water scooters) and floating homes, commercial fishing vessels, ferries, and cruise ships would be excluded.

For vehicles and aircraft priced over $100,000, the amount of the tax would be the lesser of 10% of the full value of the vehicle or the aircraft, or 20% of the value above $100,000. For boats priced over $250,000, the amount of the tax would be the lesser of 10% of the full value of the boat or 20% of the value above $250,000.

The tax would generally apply at the final point of purchase of new luxury vehicles, aircraft and boats in Canada.

In the case of imports, the application would generally be either at the time of importation (in cases where there will not be a further sale of the goods in Canada) or at the time of the final point of purchase in Canada following importation.

Upon purchase or lease, the seller or lessor would be responsible for remitting the full amount of the federal tax owing, regardless of whether the good was purchased outright, financed, or leased over a period of time. Exports will not be subject to the tax.

  • GST/HST would apply to the final sale price, inclusive of the proposed tax, so
  • GST/HST would also be payable on this new tax. Further details are to be announced in the coming months.

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