Québec Sales Tax (Reference)

The Supreme Court of Canada (1994) emphasized that the Québec Sales Tax (QST) was similar to the GST which is an added tax on value. It was not an indirect tax for it was ultimately assumed by the person who bore the tax burden, namely the consumer.

The Supreme Court of Canada (1994) emphasized that the Québec Sales Tax (QST) was similar to the GST which is an added tax on value. It was not an indirect tax for it was ultimately assumed by the person who bore the tax burden, namely the consumer. The law was held valid at the same time when harmonized with the federal GST. Judge Gonthier wrote: "My examination of the cases bearing on the interpretation of section 92(2) brings out that aside from excise, customs and similar taxes and the 2 general limitations referred to (transparency and imputability) the provinces have come to enjoy considerable freedom in the establishment of their fiscal regimes." In the result, the general effect of the QST was that the burden of the tax ultimately fell on the consumer. Judge Gonthier concluded that the imposition was a direct tax.