Wednesday, August 03, 2005

GST Refund

One of the things that I learned during the Canada portion of the trip -- and that I didn't see on anyone else's Flying to Alaska websites -- is that, as a non-resident of Canada, you are eligible to apply for a refund of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). As I perceive it, GST is basically national sales tax. About 7% on what seems like just about everything.

Well, as you can imagine, we bought lots of fuel in Canada. GST applies.

We had about a week of overnight stays. GST applies.

Paid GST on a variety of other things.

Unfortunately, I didn't find the brouchure about applying for a refund until fairly late in the trip. As a result, I'm not sure that (a) I kept all of the receipts that might have included GST, and (b) that all of the receipts that I do have qualify. They want original "receipts," and the brochure says that "credit and debit slips are not accepted." In lots of instances, the only thing that I got was a debit slip. But many of those have the GST itemized on it and the vendor's GST account number, so I'm hoping that these will qualify.

All told, there was about $156 in GST receipts in my rebate application. At current exchange rates, that's about $128 in Yankee dollars. Hopefully, that'll help pay the Nav Canada bill when it arrives, assuming I actually get that much in the refund.

So, my advice to those of you flying North of the Border: Keep your receipts!

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