Every province except Alberta has implemented either a provincial sales tax or the Harmonized Sales Tax. The federal GST rate is 5 percent, effective January 1, 2008.
The territories of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut have neither the HST nor territorial sales taxes. Only the GST is collected. The three northern jurisdictions are heavily subsidized by the federal government, and its residents receive some additional tax concessions due to the high cost of living in the north.
Separate Provincial Sales Taxes (PST) are collected in the provinces of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec (Quebec Sales Tax or QST, French: Taxe de vente du Québec or TVQ). Prince Edward Island switched to a HST on April 1, 2013, the same date that British Columbia reverted to a separate GST/PST after their adoption of a HST in 2010 was rejected in a referendum. Goods to which the tax is applied vary by province, as does the rate. Moreover, for those provinces whose provincial sales tax is applied to the combined cost and GST, provincial revenues decline or increase with respective changes in the GST. Of the provincial sales taxes, only the QST (and the HST) are value-added; the rest are cascading taxes.
Restaurant meals (whether dine-in or take-out, and including fast food) under $4 are exempt from the Ontario portion. Alcoholic beverages purchased from licensed restaurants are also subject to an Ontario rate of 13%.
Books are taxed at 5.0% (considered essential goods for QST but not for GST). There is an additional tax on tourist lodgings such as hotels which varies by region, ranging from $2 per night to 3.5%.
^As of January 2013, Quebec officially changed the QST rate to 9.975. Previously, it had a nominal rate of 9.5 but was applied on top of the GST, making the effective rate 9.975. As of January 2013, the rate no longer applies on top of GST and is simply 9.975.