View Full Version : Question for Canadians about Kobo and GST


ficbot
03-24-2010, 08:34 AM
I noticed that Kobo has started adding a GST charge to their books. This makes them much less of a value to me because if you have a $1 off coupon and they are adding 50 cents for the GST, you really are not saving that much. What concerns me though is that paper books were always exempt from GST. So why are they allowed to charge it on ebooks? Does anyone know what's going on with that?

BookLoverToo
03-24-2010, 10:36 AM
As far as I know, paper books have always been subject to GST. They are exempt from PST in some provinces, but I'm from Alberta, and there is no PST, but I'm sure I have always been paying GST at Chapters! I guess not surprising that Kobo has to charge GST, but disappointing anyway, and makes me think I might keep my Fictionwise membership after all, especially with the dollar near parity.

Nakor
03-24-2010, 03:29 PM
Just did a little legal scrounging and found that all books are GST taxable except for used books and donated text books.

PST rules vary. (In Ontario, whether a book is PST taxable actually depends on the kind of book.)

ficbot
03-24-2010, 03:36 PM
So what will happen when the HST kicks in?

Nakor
03-24-2010, 04:25 PM
This site details it well:

http://www.hstincanada.com/2010/01/hst-exemptions-and-rebates-in-british-columbia/

There's an Ontario tab on there too, unfortunately that page doesn't appear to be as succinct.

Anything that was charged both GST and PST before will be charged full HST now (the changes to rounding may cause total taxes charged to be off 1 on any given purchase). Anything that was exempt from GST remains fully exempt from HST. There are also some new things fully exempt from HST; see the link above. Anything that was exempt from PST but was charged GST will now be charged full HST, except the following items which only pay the GST portion of it:

* Gasoline, ethanol, diesel and bio-diesel when used in motor vehicles as well as locomotive fuel used for trains, marine diesel used for boats, and aviation fuel and jet fuel used for aircraft.
* Books
* Children’s-sized clothing and footwear
* Children’s car seats and car booster seats
* Diapers
* Feminine hygiene products

addicted2books
03-26-2010, 07:28 PM
I noticed as a Canadian site, Kobo was applying the GST to book purchases. I also noticed that when I have been purchasing books from Books On Board that I have also been paying a 'transaction' fee. This transaction fee is close to what I pay for GST but still annoying.

As a Canadian I can't escape paying the GST or PST but I can choose where I buy my books. So most of the time I buy my books from sites that benefit me the most and not the Federal Government. About the only time I buy from Kobo is when I do have a coupon. It's a rather sad situation as I feel that I should be giving my business to a Canadian company. The only times I can think of that it would be to my benefit to buy from Kobo would be if the exchange on the US dollar was unusually high.

Briand
03-26-2010, 07:35 PM
I noticed as a Canadian site, Kobo was applying the GST to book purchases. I also noticed that when I have been purchasing books from Books On Board that I have also been paying a 'transaction' fee. This transaction fee is close to what I pay for GST but still annoying.

As a Canadian I can't escape paying the GST or PST but I can choose where I buy my books. So most of the time I buy my books from sites that benefit me the most and not the Federal Government. About the only time I buy from Kobo is when I do have a coupon. It's a rather sad situation as I feel that I should be giving my business to a Canadian company. The only times I can think of that it would be to my benefit to buy from Kobo would be if the exchange on the US dollar was unusually high.
I don't want to sound like a flag-waver (we Cdns don't do that anyway) but that little bit of GST we pay on books helps fund our healthcare, roads, schools etc..nevermind the grants to arts and publishing groups in Canada....you might say a few pennies at an American retailer, but you are really hurting our economy and our entrepeneurs....is it really worth the savings of a few cents each book to do that?

Brian

addicted2books
03-26-2010, 10:49 PM
I think it's more just the principal of GST that bothers me the most. I understand that the GST is supposed to help fund all the things that have been mentioned but these things were also funded before there was a GST.

The concept of having additional taxes rammed down my throat doesn't sit well. There is no doubt that I end up paying my share of GST through my everyday activities on Canadian soil, from the gas I buy to the groceries and appliances that are a part of my home. So I guess it's just my small rebellion that if I can save a $1 here or there and if that $1 ends up in my pocket instead of Stephen Harper's, then I can live with that. :chinscratch:

Nakor
03-27-2010, 04:16 AM
If it wasn't GST it would be higher income tax. It's not like we're being charged more tax due to GST than we would have been without it. It's just laying it out in different patterns. GST allowed the government to ensure that the tax only applied to certain things, so that food and other vitals wouldn't be charged that tax.