Taxes & GST Rebate Program


Sales Taxes


Most goods and services in British Columbia are subject to a sales tax totaling 12% of the purchase price (7% PST + 5% GST). Please note alcohol is taxed at 15% (10% PST + 5% GST). Go to for more information.


The current tax/levy rate in Vancouver is 16.5% of the hotel room rate. Please note that there are three types of tax/ levy involved:

Goods & Services Tax (GST): taxed at 5% of hotel room rate

Provincial Sales Tax (PST): taxed at 10% of hotel room rate (8% PST + 2% AHRT). AHRT: Additional Hotel Room Tax, which most major cities in BC collect.

Destination Marketing Fee (DMF*):< levy taxed at 1.5% of hotel room rate. The DMF s a fee which approximately 30 of downtown Vancouver hotels collect to assist with the marketing of Vancouver as a destination.

Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program - GST Rebate

Canada offers a value added program to foreign meeting and conventions. Recognizing the importance of foreign conventions held in Canada, you are eligible to claim back the sales tax called the GST (Goods & Services Tax) comprising of 5% from the Canada Revenue Agency on certain meeting related services and supplies. In order to qualify as a Foreign Convention, the conference organization must be headquartered outside of Canada and attendees comprise of 75% non-Canadian residents.

Below is a list of meeting related supplies and services that are eligible for the GST Rebate.

  • Meeting Space Rental
  • Exhibition Space Rental
  • Exhibition Space Decorating
  • Accommodations - on guestrooms billed to the MASTER ACCOUNT for the organization (not available for individual delegate rooms).
  • Audio-visual - audio , audio visual, and video services, and both equipment and labour associated with technical services
  • Business equipment - computers, photocopiers, desks, and chairs
  • Convention materials - banners, flags, signs, papers, shields, floral arrangements, stand decorations, backdrops and other decorations, and office supplies
  • Convention show property and services - equipment, furnishings, and labour to install such items as carpeting, tables, chairs, exhibit booths, plants, draping, banners, displays, and signs
  • Destination management companies - local planning management and co-ordination services in organizing elements of the convention for the incoming organization
  • Electrical services - equipment and labour for electrical services
  • *Food & Beverage functions - only half of the GST (2.5%) can be claimed and must have a meeting component attached.

Steps to Claim Back the GST:

An organizer must provide the following supporting documents with its rebate claim to confirm that the event is a convention and to prove that the organizer paid the GST charges by the supplier:

Mail the completed FORM 386 and all supporting documents to:
Summerside Tax Centre
Canada Revenue Agency
275 Pope Road
Summerside PE C1N 6A2

Please note that the organizer has one year from the conclusion of teh Vancouver conference date to claim back the GST. Once you submit your claim Canada Revenue Agency will process within 8-10 weeks.

For more detailed information and further instructions, please refer to their website at: 

If you have questions about the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program (FCTIP) or you want to know the status of your refund, call:

  • from Canada and the United States, 1-800-959-5525;
  • from outside Canada and the United States, 613-940-8497. They accept collect calls by automated response. You may hear a beep and experience a normal connection delay.