First Nations with a Self-Government Agreement Ending Indian Act Tax Relief – Determining Tax Relief for Indian Members

From: Canada Revenue Agency

GST/HST Notices - Notice 238
May 2019

This version updates and replaces the one dated October 2008.

GST/HST Technical Information Bulletin (TIB) B-039 GST/HST Administrative Policy – the Application of GST/HST to Indians summarizes the CRA's tax relief policy for Indians, Indian bands and band-empowered entities. The treatment of Indian purchases under the GST/HST is consistent with section 87 of the Indian Act under which personal property of an Indian or an Indian band situated on a reserve and their interests in reserve or surrendered lands are not subject to tax.

TIB B-039 does not apply to First Nations and their citizens that have signed final or self-government agreements that end Indian Act tax relief. While these First Nations may have agreed to give up tax relief rights, their citizens are still entitled to carry a Certificate of Indian Status Card ("status card") as this card is also used for other purposes.

For purposes of this notice a “Treaty Beneficiary” means the following individuals who are required to pay GST/HST as they are no longer entitled to relief under section 87 of the Indian Act:

  • Maa-nulth-aht (as that term is defined in the Maa-nulth First Nations Final Agreement)
  • Tsawwassen Member (as that term is defined in the Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement)
  • Tlicho Citizen (as that term is defined in the Tlicho Land Claims and Self-Government Agreement)
  • Nisga’a Citizen (as that term is defined in the Nisga’a Final Agreement)

How does a vendor determine who is entitled to tax relief if all Indians are entitled to carry a status card but some are excluded from tax relief under section 87 of the Indian Act?

Vendors are always required to document the registry number or the band name and family number from the status card when not charging tax to an Indian where the supply meets the requirements set out in TIB B-039.

In addition, a vendor must verify if the Indian’s registry or band number matches a First Nation name or number listed later in this notice. This is a list of First Nations which have entered into a self‑government agreement that includes ending section 87 relief to their members. If the vendor is selling to an Indian who is a member of one of these First Nations, the vendor will only be able to provide tax relief if it obtains certification from the Indian member that they are not a Treaty Beneficiary of the First Nation.

The following is acceptable as certification from the Indian member:

This certifies that I am exempt from GST/HST when section 87 of the Indian Act applies as I am not a Treaty Beneficiary of a First Nation with a final or self-government agreement that ends tax relief.

Name of Indian purchaser

Signature

Registry Number or Band name and family number

This supply will not be subject to the GST/HST if the goods are being purchased on a reserve or delivered to a reserve by the vendor or vendor’s agent, or the transaction involves services that are performed entirely on a reserve.

In some cases, a vendor may sell goods or provide services on a tax-relieved basis because it has obtained a certificate from an Indian purchaser who is later found to be a Treaty Beneficiary of a First Nation that no longer benefits from tax relief. In such a case, the CRA will not assess the vendor, provided that it has acted in good faith and with due diligence, but may instead assess the purchaser for any tax not properly paid.

Amounts paid as tax in error by an Indian purchaser

An Indian purchaser who meets the conditions for tax relief, but pays an amount as GST/HST, may apply for a refund by completing form GST189, General Application for Rebate of GST/HST.

First Nations Goods and Services Tax (FNGST)

Most of the First Nations who are now subject to tax have opted to enter into tax sharing agreements with the Government of Canada. The FNGST effectively replaces the GST on supplies made on the lands of these First Nations and is payable by all individuals including Indian purchasers. There are no separate reporting requirements for FNGST.

For more information on the FNGST, and a list of the First Nations that have implemented the FNGST visit the First Nations Goods and Services Tax webpage.

First Nations with final or self-government agreements in place that provide for an end to tax relief under section 87 of the Indian Act

Maa-nulth First Nations (BC) subject to GST/HST as of May 1, 2019
Former Indian Bands  Band Number
Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ 638
Huu-ay-aht 663
Toquaht 666
Uchucklesaht 667
Ucluelet 668

Maa-nulth-ahts Footnote *, resident or not in British Columbia, are no longer entitled to tax relief set out in TIB B-039.

Exception: Relief from the GST/HST, set out in TIB B-039, still applies to Maa-nulth Indian members that are not Maa-nulth Treaty Beneficiaries.

Reserve status: There are no longer any reserves on Maa-nulth First Nation Lands*.

Tsawwassen First Nation (BC) subject to GST/HST as of May 1, 2017
Former Indian Bands Band Number
Tsawwassen 577

Tsawwassen Members*, resident or not in British Columbia, are no longer entitled to tax relief set out in TIB B-39.

Exception: Relief from the GST/HST, set out in TIB B-039, still applies to Tsawwassen members that are not Tsawwassen Treaty Beneficiaries.

Reserve status: There are no longer any reserves on Tsawwassen Lands*.

Tlicho First Nation (NWT) subject to GST/HST as of August 4, 2005
Former Indian Bands  Band Number
Dog Rib Rae (Behcho kö) 765
Dechi Laot'i First Nations (Wekweètì) 774
Gameti First Nation 773
Wha Ti First Nation 769

Tlicho Citizens* resident or not in the Northwest Territories, are no longer entitled to tax relief set out in TIB B-039.

Exception: Relief from the GST/HST, set out in TIB B-039, still applies to Tlicho members that are not Tlicho Treaty Beneficiaries.

Reserve status: There were no reserves on Tlicho Lands*.

Nisga'a Nation (BC) subject to GST/HST as of June 1, 2008

Former Indian Bands
(now known as the Nisga'a village of)

 Band Number
Gingolx 671
Gitwinksihlkw 679
Lakalzap (Laxgalt'sap) 678
Gitlakdamix (New Aiyansh) 677

Nisga'a Citizens*, resident on and off Nisga'a Lands*, are no longer entitled to tax relief set out in TIB B-039. This includes Nisga'a Citizens* in the urban locals of Prince Rupert/Port Edwards, Terrace and Greater Vancouver.

Exception: Relief from the GST/HST, set out in TIB B-039, still applies to Nisga'a members that are not Nisga'a Treaty Beneficiaries

Reserve status: There are no longer any reserves on Nisga'a Lands*.

Yukon First Nations and their Citizens* that are resident in the Yukon
Former Indian Bands (known as) Date tax exemption ceased to apply  Band Number
Champagne and Aishihik February 15, 1998 507
Tsawlnjik Dan (Little Salmon/Carmacks) February 15, 1998 492
Na-cho Nyak Dun February 15, 1998 495
Selkirk February 15, 1998 498
Teslin Tlingit Council February 15, 1998 499
Dawson (Tr'on dëk Hwëch'in) February 15, 1998 494
Vuntut Gwitchin February 15, 1998 496
Ta'an Kwach'an April 1, 2002 508
Kluane February 2, 2004 503
Kwanlin Dun April 1, 2005 500
Carcross/Tagish January 9, 2006 491

The tax exemption under section 87 of the Indian Act no longer applies when a Yukon First Nations' Final Agreement comes into effect. As a result, there are different effective dates as to when the relief described in TIB B-039 no longer applies.

Exception: Section 87 of the Indian Act still applies to Citizens* of those Yukon First Nations with a Final Agreement that are not resident in the Yukon. In addition, the remaining three Yukon First Nations (Liard, Ross River Dena Council and White River) have not completed final agreements so they and their members are still entitled to relief from the GST/HST as set out in TIB B-039.

Reserve status: For purposes of section 87 of the Indian Act, there are no longer any reserves in the Yukon. Thus, TIB B-039 has limited application in the Yukon. For more information on Yukon First Nations, see GST/HST Notice 143, Application of GST/FNGST to Yukon First Nations and their Members.

Further information

All GST/HST technical publications are available at GST/HST technical information.

To make a GST/HST enquiry by telephone:

  • for GST/HST general enquiries, call Business Enquiries at 1‑800‑959‑5525
  • for GST/HST technical enquiries, call GST/HST Rulings at 1‑800‑959‑8287

If you are located in Quebec, call Revenu Québec at 1‑800‑567‑4692 or visit their website at revenuquebec.ca.

If you are a selected listed financial institution (whether or not you are located in Quebec) and require information on the GST/HST or the QST, go to GST/HST and QST - Financial institutions, including selected listed financial institutions or:

  • for general GST/HST or QST enquiries, call Business Enquiries at 1‑800‑959‑5525
  • for technical GST/HST or QST enquiries, call GST/HST Rulings SLFI at 1‑855‑666‑5166
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