The Strauss Blog

GST/HST and QST on Registration Fees for Virtual Meetings and Trade Shows

Many associations have been forced to cancel in-person professional development meetings and/or trade shows because of the COVID-19 pandemic, as described in my colleagues’ recent article Association Trade Shows Gone Virtual.

The cancellation of these events both reduces the value of association membership and threatens some association’s financial sustainability.

Virtual meetings and trade shows can and do offer partial solutions to these challenges.

Determining Place of Supply

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Québec consider the place of supply for virtual events to be determined by the province of the person/organization being invoiced.

This determination is detailed in CRA’s GST/HST Technical Information Bulletin B-103, example 143:

 “A Quebec company provides computer and software technical support services by telephone and e-mail to an Ontario company. The technical support services are only available to employees of the Ontario company who work at the company’s business location in Ontario and call from that location.

“The supply of the computer-related service is made in Ontario because the final recipient, the Ontario company, avails itself of the service from a single ordinary location that is in Ontario and the supplier maintains sufficient information to determine that location. As a result, the supply of the computer-related service is subject to HST at a rate of 13%.”

QST on Virtual Meetings

If the place of supply is determined to be Québec, based on the above example, and your association is not registered to collect QST and your association’s sales in the province are below their $30,000 “minimum threshold,” then the sales tax is 5%.

QST on Physical Meetings

“If your organization charges GST/HST on registration fees for events such as conferences and professional development workshops, and you are going to be holding an event in Québec, then you must register with Revenu Québec” and collect QST.

You can learn more about the requirement to register with Revenu Québec and collect QST from our January 22, 2014 blog GST/HST and QST – Do You Know What to do for Québec Events and Members?

The above article is provided for informational purposes only. It constitutes general information relating to GST, HST, and QST. It does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, or other professional advice and you may not rely on it as such.