Shopping Discussion

Has anyone noticed Amazon has started charging HST in Ontario?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 12th, 2021 2:46 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 26, 2016
17 posts
3 upvotes

Has anyone noticed Amazon has started charging HST in Ontario?

I am a Prime member. Within these past two weeks or so, end of July, start of August 2021, I've noticed a couple things:
1: Items shipped by or fulfilled by Amazon is being taxed HST.
2: Items coming from China isn't taxed, but now it seems you ALWAYS have to pay shipping (oftentimes, shipping used to be free). Also, that shipping takes about a month, but surprisingly, you can pay an extra shipping fee and you'd get the item in about a week!)

I did a test. In early July, I bought a Chinese widget shipped by and fulfilled next-day by Amazon paying no taxes. Last week, I tried ordering the item and was quite surprised to see the HST tacked on to this $200+ item! Ouch! I then tried with other items all with the same result.

I guess they're getting a jump on the government's 2022 imposition.
20 replies
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Jan 9, 2011
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AbsolutelyGeneral wrote: I am a Prime member. Within these past two weeks or so, end of July, start of August 2021, I've noticed a couple things:
1: Items shipped by or fulfilled by Amazon is being taxed HST.
You say that like it's a new thing. Are you suggesting you never paid GST/HST on anything you bought on Amazon before?
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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Kiraly wrote: You say that like it's a new thing. Are you suggesting you never paid GST/HST on anything you bought on Amazon before?
Not OP, but there's quite a lot of things I never paid GST/PST/HST for on Amazon. It's half the reason I shop there.
Anything shipped and sold by Amazon or any 3rd party that has operations in BC you're paying, but anyone that doesn't (ie quite a number of 3rd party sellers) don't have a presence so they don't collect taxes.
It's never made sense to me, but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.

To be fair... technically speaking you're supposed to self remit anything you're "supposed to pay" if you consume it in BC, but I don't think anyone actually does.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.
Deal Expert
Jun 20, 2020
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AbsolutelyGeneral wrote: I am a Prime member. Within these past two weeks or so, end of July, start of August 2021, I've noticed a couple things:
1: Items shipped by or fulfilled by Amazon is being taxed HST.
2: Items coming from China isn't taxed, but now it seems you ALWAYS have to pay shipping (oftentimes, shipping used to be free). Also, that shipping takes about a month, but surprisingly, you can pay an extra shipping fee and you'd get the item in about a week!)

I did a test. In early July, I bought a Chinese widget shipped by and fulfilled next-day by Amazon paying no taxes. Last week, I tried ordering the item and was quite surprised to see the HST tacked on to this $200+ item! Ouch! I then tried with other items all with the same result.

I guess they're getting a jump on the government's 2022 imposition.
Did you confuse the DST with HST?

In the Federal 2021 Budget, the Liberal government confirmed its intention to:
  1. move forward with its proposal to implement a domestic digital services tax (DST) as of Jan. 1, 2022;
  2. implement the so-called simplified registration regime for GST/HST registration by non-residents, effective July 1, 2021.

From Taxing the Internet: An overview of Canada's approach to taxing the digital economy
Destiny is all
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Nov 17, 2007
149 posts
59 upvotes
Toronto
In my case, they became overzealous and charged me tax on some spices, which are tax free in the grocery stores? Teething problems or part of a down payment on a new space adventure?
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 26, 2016
17 posts
3 upvotes
death_hawk wrote: Not OP, but there's quite a lot of things I never paid GST/PST/HST for on Amazon. It's half the reason I shop there.
Anything shipped and sold by Amazon or any 3rd party that has operations in BC you're paying, but anyone that doesn't (ie quite a number of 3rd party sellers) don't have a presence so they don't collect taxes.
It's never made sense to me, but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.

To be fair... technically speaking you're supposed to self remit anything you're "supposed to pay" if you consume it in BC, but I don't think anyone actually does.

"I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth". Same here. But if they'll now be taxing me on everything, I may as well do the reverse with them, you know, check out their goods online and if it's available "locally" (American Best Buy, or Canadian Canada Computers, etc.), get it from their brick and mortars. I am sure the B&Ms will continue to do online price-matching.

That $200+ item I bought was actually $211.65 with NO 13% taxes here in ON. With taxes it would have cost me $239.16! That's a savings of almost $30 (edited due to poor math! :-)), no small amount. But, it seems the free ride is over and if it's not a win for me, at least it's a win for the local economy. I hope people will become aware and not just blindly click on "Place your order"!!!
Last edited by AbsolutelyGeneral on Aug 9th, 2021 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 26, 2016
17 posts
3 upvotes
slacker1 wrote: In my case, they became overzealous and charged me tax on some spices, which are tax free in the grocery stores? Teething problems or part of a down payment on a new space adventure?

That was my thought exactly: They've got to find new ways to keep their space program going!

Listen, I don't mind being charged taxes. Without getting into the weeds, it helps pay for our great (it has its hiccups, but what doesn't) health care system. But yes, it does seem they've become overzealous with not just taxes, but also, they've bumped up prices on many items (that I keep an eye on).
Spices? Isn't that a food? Why then is it being taxed?
I saw a camera light stand go up $10 day-over-day from $60 to $70. Now I am definitely not going to buy it, unless it becomes couponed/lightening-ed – and to less than its original $60 too!

This may sound like a case of "the fox and the grapes", but this may actually do me good. I have impulsively bought too may things on Amazon (and I have the spreadsheet to prove it! :-)). Hopefully, this'll curb that spending habit.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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AbsolutelyGeneral wrote: I may as well do the reverse with them, you know, check out their goods online and if it's available "locally" (American Best Buy, or Canadian Canada Computers, etc.), get it from their brick and mortars. I am sure the B&Ms will continue to do online price-matching.
The funny thing is that's probably the exact reason they started charging. Online shopping from a 3rd party via Amazon that doesn't have a presence (ie every 3rd party merchant) means that brick and mortar was automatically 13% more expensive. Can't PM since both things are listed as $100 but only B&M charge taxes.
It was an unfair landscape for B&M. This just levels the playing field.

Personally I'm still shopping at Amazon because I hate B&M. Gotta drive there, find out they don't have it, or they can't find it, or someone stole it, drive to another store, try to find someone to help you, have them fail at finding it, and still leaving empty handed 3 hours later.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 21, 2018
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Vancouver
This has all come up and been explained before.

GST must be paid on all goods imported into Canada, on the wholesale import price (ignoring the $20 exemption for personally imported items in this discussion).
The goods may then be marked up when they are resold to a retailer, and again when they are sold to a consumer. Each time a higher GST (or HST) amount is charged to the buyer on the higher price, and the seller deducts the GST already paid from what they remit to the government tax collector. That's the way a value-added tax works.

But if the seller is outside of Canada (e.g., in China), and they have no presence in Canada other than a 3rd-party warehouse holding the goods (like Amazon), then they do not have to charge or remit GST/HST on the retail price. The Canadian government tax collector gets to keep the GST they received on the wholesale import price of the goods, but the subsequent value-added retail markup belongs to the foreign seller, and can't be taxed by Canada. Instead they will be taxed by their own country because the value-added markup was earned there.

Of course sellers can alter their arrangements at any time. If they open a Canadian presence, they will likely be deemed to be selling from there, and the Canadian branch of the company will have to charge and remit GST/HST. If they start shipping directly from overseas, the purchaser will have to pay GST/HST on the purchase price on import. If the sale is through major Canadian retailer Amazon.ca, they will likely arrange to collect that GST/HST on behalf of the government instead of leaving it up to Canada Customs to catch the package on import.
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Sep 16, 2013
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I tried adding to cart a few products from different 3rd party sellers I purchased before, when they didn't incur taxes. Now they all are charged HST. I don't think all these obscure Chinese sellers suddenly gained presence in Canada. Something has changed how Amazon charges taxes. Looks like no free ride anymore.
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i ordered something of a us website site and they charged me hst. they claimed its because they have an amazon.ca store that they now have to add on hst although i didn't order it from there amazon.ca store it was directly off there website.

so are all us stores gonna start ripping us with tax now what if the item is over $20 will we also get double taxed when it hits the boarder will customs also tax it like they did before?
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alpovs wrote: I tried adding to cart a few products from different 3rd party sellers I purchased before, when they didn't incur taxes. Now they all are charged HST. I don't think all these obscure Chinese sellers suddenly gained presence in Canada. Something has changed how Amazon charges taxes. Looks like no free ride anymore.
Laws changed in July 1st.
HEATWARE AT 64-0-0. Ebay Feedback 200+ and counting. RFD Feedback 71-0-0 and counting.
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aaron158 wrote: i ordered something of a us website site and they charged me hst. they claimed its because they have an amazon.ca store that they now have to add on hst although i didn't order it from there amazon.ca store it was directly off there website.

so are all us stores gonna start ripping us with tax now what if the item is over $20 will we also get double taxed when it hits the boarder will customs also tax it like they did before?
Do you mean amazon.com? I've been ordering from amazon.com for 10+ years and they have always charged HST. Was it your first time? You don't pay anything on arrival.
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alpovs wrote: Do you mean amazon.com? I've been ordering from amazon.com for 10+ years and they have always charged HST. Was it your first time? You don't pay anything on arrival.
nah it was a store called owc they mostly sell mac crap but they had some cheap sd ram i need for a p3 system. this was ordered directly off there website and the items were valued at 10 usd below were import taxing is required. but there c/s claimed that now because they have a store selling on amazon.ca they are required to charge Canadian tax weather u order it from there amazon store or there website.

so my though is whats to stop other us stores from charging u tax and who knows if they are submitting it properly so u don't also get hit with import fees at the door i mean this one won't being its under 20 cad but what if it wasn't.
Last edited by aaron158 on Aug 10th, 2021 10:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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alpovs wrote: Can you be more specific?
Amazon needs to charge and collect the GST/HST as of July 1st

GST/HST for digital economy businesses: Overview
https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency ... onomy.html
As of July 1, 2021, digital economy businesses, including digital platform operators, may have potential goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) obligations under three measures that were announced in the Fall Economic Statement 2020 by the Government of Canada and revised as announced on April 19, 2021 following consultations with stakeholders. This means you may have new obligations, including registering, and charging and collecting the GST/HST.


Supply of qualifying goods in Canada
These are non-resident vendors or non-resident distribution platform operator vendors who make the supply of qualifying goods (also known as “qualifying tangible personal property supply”) including goods that are delivered or made available in Canada, such as goods located in a fulfillment warehouse or goods shipped to a purchaser in Canada. This also includes distribution platform operators who facilitate the supply of qualifying goods through their platform.
Destiny is all
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aaron158 wrote: nah it was a store called owc they mostly sell mac crap but they had some cheap sd ram i need for a p3 system. this was ordered directly off there website and the items were valued at 10 usd below were import taxing is required. but there c/s claimed that now because they have a store selling on amazon.ca they are required to charge Canadian tax weather u order it from there amazon store or there website.

so my though is whats to stop other us stores from charging u tax and who knows if they are submitting it properly so u don't also get hit with import fees at the door i mean this one won't being its under 20 cad but what if it wasn't.
I see. In any case, if they charged you taxes upfront you won't pay them on delivery. I like it even better - no surprises. There's always a thought what if they don't file paperwork properly but it never happened.
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alpovs wrote: I see. In any case, if they charged you taxes upfront you won't pay them on delivery. I like it even better - no surprises. There's always a thought what if they don't file paperwork properly but it never happened.
Nothing you ever order on Amazon.ca is subject to taxes or brokerage on delivery. If that happens or has happened to you, click the Fight Back link in my signature.
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Kiraly wrote: Nothing you ever order on Amazon.ca is subject to taxes or brokerage on delivery. If that happens or has happened to you, click the Fight Back link in my signature.
The talk was about other, non-Amazon sites.

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