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HST – University Sales

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University Sales Subject to HST

Goods and Property

  • external sale of property (other than capital property) which was used in commercial activities of the University prior to its sale
  • external sale or lease of new goods (not donated to the University) and related services
  • external sales of property by way of lease, licence, or similar arrangement in conjunction with taxable sales of short-term rental of real property (other than accommodation) in the course of a business (e.g. external rental of a video recorder with a lecture hall)


  • catering services provided by the University for an event or function sponsored by another person or organization who contracts with the University for catering
  • services or memberships providing the right to supervision or instruction in any recreational or athletic activity
  • instruction of individuals or administration of examinations (subject to the exemptions for educational services, discussed in Section XIII.1 of the Goods and Services Tax Manual)
  • services of a performing artist sold to a person or organization which makes taxable sales of admissions in respect of the performance


  • admissions to a place of amusement or memberships that provide free or discounted admissions that are taxable, except where the discount is insignificant relative to the cost of the membership
  • admissions to a seminar, conference or similar event

Capital Property

  • capital property used primarily in commercial activities of the University prior to its sale

Deemed Sales

  • sales deemed to have been made by the University (e.g. certain taxable employee benefits and changes of use for capital property

HST Not Applicable

Zero-rated Sales
The following are examples of sales taxed at the rate of zero. Therefore, the seller is not required to collect HST on these sales. Those items which a University department may be selling are in bold.

  • prescription drugs
  • medical devices
  • basic groceries other than alcohol, snack foods, sweetened baked goods, restaurant meals and take-out foods
  • agricultural and fishing supplies including:
    • fresh fish and other marine animals for human consumption
    • livestock, poultry, raw wool and certain agricultural produce
    • certain machinery and equipment designed for farmers or fishermen
  • exports of goods and services
  • international passenger travel services
  • international freight transportation services
  • supplies made to international organizations and officials including diplomats and member of visiting armed forces
  • certain financial services
  • initial sales or importations of precious metals

Exempt Sales
The following sales are exempt from HST. Those items which a University department may be selling are inbold.

  • goods and services provided by small suppliers
  • health care, child care and legal aid services
  • educational services provided by elementary and secondary schools, publicly funded colleges and universities, and private secretarial schools and business colleges
  • a broad range of supplies of a non-commercial nature by charities, non-profit organizations, municipalities, and federal and provincial governments
  • sales of used residential housing and rentals of residential premises
  • most domestic financial services
  • certain intra-group financial services
  • ferry, road and bridge tolls

Additional Assistance

Please refer to the quick reference table (HST Tax Status for Sales to External Parties) for various types of external sales activity throughout the University.