On July 1, 2010, the Retail Sales Tax (RST) was replaced by the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). The provincial portion of the HST is eight per cent and the federal portion is five per cent, for a combined HST rate of 13 per cent.

RST continues to apply to:

  • taxable insurance premiums, and
  • private sales of specified vehicles from a person who is not a GST/HST registrant

Businesses that sell taxable insurance products or provide self-insured benefits to their employees must be registered as vendors with the Ministry of Finance and obtain a vendor permit to charge, collect and remit RST. Effective June 30, 2010 all former RST vendor accounts were closed and businesses primarily engaged in insurance activities were automatically re-registered.

To register as a vendor and obtain a vendor permit:

  • call the Ministry of Finance at 1-866 ONT-TAXS (668-8297)
  • mail or fax the Vendor Permit Application Form
  • visit a Service Ontario location
  • online through the Service Ontario website

A Vendor's permit is required for those that:

  • regularly sell taxable goods
  • regularly provide taxable services
  • regularly sell insurance
  • charge more than $4 admission to a place of amusement
  • are a manufacturing contractor
  • are a non-resident contractor doing business in Ontario
  • sell taxable goods or services at flea markets, fairs or exhibitions
  • regularly import taxable goods or taxable services into Ontario for your own use
  • purchase goods exempt from RST that you plan to resell, but later take these goods from inventory for your own use

You do not need a Vendor Permit if:

  • you sell only tax-exempt goods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables at a roadside stand;
  • you provide only non-taxable services, such as dry cleaning;
  • you are a wholesaler or manufacturer and do not make retail sales.

A vendor permit is not transferable.

For more information, visit the website or you can contact the Ontario Ministry of Finance. They will take your application over the phone or in person. There is no charge for a Vendors Permit.