Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program

Notices to reader

The information on this page replaces the information in Guide RC4160, Rebate for Tour Packages, Foreign Conventions, and Non-Resident Exhibitor Purchases, and as a result, this guide has been eliminated.

A GST/HST rebate is no longer available to non-residents for the Canadian accommodation portion of eligible tour packages under the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program (FCTIP) if the tour packages or accommodations are supplied after March 22, 2017. However, the rebate may still be available in respect of a supply of a tour package or accommodations made after March 22, 2017, and before 2018 if the amount owing for the supply is paid in full before January 1, 2018.

The rebate will still be available in respect of a supply of a tour package or accommodation made on or before March 22, 2017, regardless of when the consideration for the supply is paid or the tour takes place.

In addition, a rebate under the FCTIP is still available for certain expenses related to foreign conventions. 

As of July 1, 2021, digital economy businesses, including digital platform operators, may have potential goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) obligations under three new measures that were announced in the Fall Economic Statement 2020 by the Government of Canada and revised as announced on April 19, 2021 following consultations with stakeholders. This means you may have new obligations, including registering, charging, collecting and reporting the GST/HST.

For more information on these new measures and the definitions for the digital economy go to GST/HST for digital economy businesses: Overview.

Overview

The Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program (FCTIP) is a rebate program administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The program provides goods and services tax / harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) rebates to:

  • non-residents for the GST/HST paid on short-term and/or camping accommodation in Canada included in an eligible tour package
  • convention sponsors, organizers, and exhibitors, for the GST/HST paid on certain properties and/or services used during conventions held in Canada

In certain cases, a rebate may also be available for Quebec sales tax (QST) paid on purchases for a foreign convention. Invoices in Quebec often show the French term for the QST, TVQ.

If you are a non-resident visitor to Canada, you cannot claim a rebate of the GST/HST that you paid for purchases made in Canada.

The Visitor Rebate Program (VRP) was replaced on April 1, 2007, with the FCTIP. For more information on the comparison between the two programs, see Program history – from Visitor Rebate Program to Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program

Rebate eligibility

Eligibility for GST/HST rebates under the FCTIP is generally divided into the following two categories:

  • non-residents for the GST/HST paid on short-term and/or camping accommodation in Canada included in an eligible tour package
  • convention sponsors, organizers and exhibitors for the GST/HST paid on certain properties and/or services used in the course of conventions held in Canada
You may be eligible for a rebate under the FCTIP if you are:
  • a non-resident individual, or an organization or business (other than a tour operator) that is not registered for the GST/HST, and you bought an eligible tour package that included short-term or camping accommodation in Canada that was made available to a non-resident individual
  • a non-resident tour operator that is not registered for the GST/HST, and you bought and resold an eligible tour package that included short-term or camping accommodation in Canada that was made available to a non-resident individual
  • a non-resident tour operator that is not registered for the GST/HST, you bought short-term and/or camping accommodation and resold it as part of an eligible tour package, and the short-term or camping accommodation in Canada included in the package was made available to a non-resident individual

For more information on rebate eligibility in the above situations, see GST/HST rebate for tour packages.

In addition, you may be eligible for a rebate under the FCTIP if you are:
  • a sponsor of a foreign convention
  • an organizer of a foreign convention and you are not registered for the GST/HST
  • a non-resident exhibitor at any convention and you are not registered for the GST/HST

For more information on rebate eligibility in these situations, see GST/HST and QST rebate for sponsors of foreign conventions, organizers of foreign conventions and non-resident exhibitors

Agreement between you and a third party

You may enter into an agreement with someone else to have them fill out and file your rebate application on your behalf. This would be a private arrangement between you and the other person. In this situation, you would have to pay the full amount of GST/HST due to the supplier and wait to receive the FCTIP rebate from the CRA.

Depending on your agreement, the person who files your rebate application on your behalf may give you an amount equal to the estimated amount of the rebate out of their own funds, so that you do not have to wait for your rebate to be mailed to you from the CRA. This arrangement is not the same as a supplier paying or crediting you with the rebate amount. Unlike a supplier, the person might charge you a fee for filing the application on your behalf.

If you enter into an agreement with someone else to have them file your rebate application, all of the required documents for claiming the rebate have to be included with the application. Proof that you have authorized the person to file the rebate application on your behalf, such as a power of attorney, must also be included with the application.

Information required on a power of attorney

The CRA will accept and act on a power of attorney only if it contains all of the following:

  • a statement that the authorized person is not affiliated with the Government of Canada or the CRA
  • complete and upfront disclosure of any fees the authorized person charges you to fill out and file your rebate application on your behalf
  • a statement that you authorize the other person to act on your behalf
  • a statement that the power of attorney is for a rebate of the GST/HST and/or the QST under the FCTIP
  • your name, address, telephone number, email address (if applicable) and signature
  • the name, address, telephone and fax numbers and email address (if applicable) of the person you are authorizing

Regardless of how you structure your business arrangement with an authorized person, the CRA will mail the cheque payable to you to the address on Form GST115, GST/HST Rebate Application for Tour Packages, or Form GST386, Rebate Application for Conventions. The address may be either your address outside Canada or the authorized person’s address in Canada.

How GST/HST is charged and reported when a GST/HST registrant acts on behalf of a recipient

As a GST/HST registrant, if you agree to act on behalf of a recipient (as an authorized person), you must still charge the full amount of GST/HST payable and this amount must be reported on your GST/HST return. If you are not the supplier and are only an independent third party, you may need to charge GST/HST on the third-party services you are providing to the rebate claimant. If you advance an amount equal to the estimated rebate amount from your own funds, this amount cannot be deducted when you fill out your return.

Advancing funds to a recipient for the amount of the rebate is considered a private arrangement between you and the recipient. This is not the same as paying or crediting the rebate amount to the recipient.

Whether or not there is a power of attorney in place, the invoice to the recipient must show the amount of GST/HST payable.

Payment methods if a third party files your rebate application on your behalf

When you authorize another person (a third party) to act as your attorney to fill out and file your rebate application on your behalf, you and the third party must decide how the rebate amount will be paid to you. You and the third party may choose to use various private arrangements to pay the rebate to you such as the mail-in payment method or the instant payment method.

Mail-in payment 

When using the mail-in payment method, the authorized person fills out and sends the rebate application to the CRA. They also have to send the supporting documents and a signed power of attorney. Depending on the arrangement with you, the authorized person may charge a fee for their service. The CRA will then pay you the eligible amount for the rebate.

Instant payment method 

Generally, when using the instant payment method, the authorized person fills out and sends the rebate application to the CRA. They also have to send the supporting documents and a signed power of attorney. This person advances an amount equal to the estimated GST/HST rebate to you from the person’s own funds. Depending on the arrangement with you, the authorized person may deduct a fee for their service. The CRA will then pay you the eligible amount for the rebate. How the person gets its advance back from the tour operator is a private arrangement between the tour operator and that person.

Example – When a non-resident, non-registered tour operator buys a block of rooms from a hotel that is a GST/HST registrant

A non-resident, non-registered tour operator buys a block of rooms from a GST/HST registrant hotel in Calgary, Alberta, for $2,000 plus $100 GST. A power of attorney is signed between the hotel and the tour operator. This document states that the hotel will advance from its own funds an amount equal to the estimated GST rebate and will file the rebate claim on the tour operator's behalf.

The hotel decides to show the advance on the invoice:

Calculations
Details Amounts
Price of the hotel rooms $2,000
5% GST payable ($2,000 x 5%) $100
Subtotal $2,100
Less: Advance of amount equal to estimated rebate ($100)
Net amount payable $2,000

The hotel completes Form GST115 and sends it to the CRA with the supporting documents and the signed power of attorney.

In its GST/HST return, the hotel reports the GST payable, but does not deduct the advance paid because this is considered a private matter between the two parties.

Calculations
Details Amounts
Sales and other revenue (line 101) $2,000
GST/HST collected (line 103) $100
Adjustments (line 104) $0
Total GST/HST adjustments (line 105) $100
Input tax credits (line 106) $0
Adjustments (line 107) $0
Total ITCs / adjustments (line 108) $0
Net tax (line 109) $100

Paying or crediting a GST/HST rebate to a client

If you are a GST/HST registrant, you can choose to pay or credit the rebate amount payable under the FCTIP if one of the following applies to you:

  • you supply eligible tour packages to either of the following:
    • non-resident individuals, organizations or businesses (other than tour operators)
    • non-resident tour operators
  • you are an organizer of a foreign convention and you supply convention facilities and/or related convention supplies to the sponsor of the convention
  • you are an operator of a convention facility who is not an organizer of the foreign convention, and you supply convention facilities and/or related convention supplies to either of the following:
    • a sponsor of a foreign convention
    • an organizer of a foreign convention that is not registered for the GST/HST
  • you are not an organizer of the foreign convention and you supply short-term accommodation or camping accommodation to either of the following:
    • a sponsor of a foreign convention
    • an organizer of a foreign convention that is not registered for the GST/HST

Canadian suppliers cannot pay or credit the GST/HST and/or the QST to non-resident exhibitors.

For more information, see GST/HST registrants that pay or credit a rebate amount under the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program.

Contacting the CRA

If you are a non-resident and want more information on how the GST/HST applies to tourism, see Non-resident GST/HST Enquiries to determine the tax services office you should contact.

If you have questions about the FCTIP or want to know the status of your rebate, call:

  • 1-800-959-5525 from Canada and the United States
  • 613-940-8497 from outside Canada and the United States

The CRA only accepts collect calls initiated by telephone operators. After your call is accepted by an automated response, you may hear a beep and experience a normal connection delay.

You can also write to:

Canada Revenue Agency
Prince Edward Island tax centre
275 Pope Road
Summerside PE  C1N 6A2
CANADA

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