The calculator is also available with Java source to download and run off-net. It is designed to be cannibalised, so that you can use whatever parts of the calculator source code you want in your own code, e.g. a shopping cart. There are notes in the source on precisely how the taxes are calculated. You can also configure your copy of the downloaded program to start up with whatever province you like.
This Applet computes either GST + PST or HST. The rules about which goods need to pay GST/PST/HST are complex and vary from province to province. Unfortunately, this Applet won’t help you sort that out. It just computes the tax if it is payable. Book vendors will be familiar with the rules for books, for example, or you can check with the provincial taxation agencies listed at the bottom of the page.
Out of province vendors must now collect the same tax as vendors in the buyer’s home province.
On 2013-02-04 Canada discontinued the penny. It is still used for credit card and debit card transactions, but for cash sales, amounts including tax are rounded to the nearest nickel. The program above shows the total payable both penny-rounded and nickel-rounded as the government suggests, but does not require.
Canadian Tax Calculator now has a Time Travel feature, where you can input a date, and have the taxes calculated using the rates the way they were or will be on that date. To do this, I need an accurate history of what sales taxes have been since 1991. Much of the material on the Internet in contradictory or incomplete. Please let me know of any errors or omissions in the following table of changes to Canadian sales taxes ( GST, HST and PST/TVQ/QST) since 1991.
BC is proposing something really stupid — making the sales tax different for businesses and individuals. This means a bookkeeping nightmare if you buy something for your business with your own money and then get reimbursed. Liberals claim to be the party of business but these donkeys have no clue about avoiding pointless paperwork. On 2012-04-01 they are going back from HST to GST + PST with no net tax rate change. The exemptions change, but surely it was not necessary to go to PST just to change the exemptions. The arguments pro and con have been exceedingly emotional and irrational. HST is clearly superior since there is less bookkeeping and less calculation. The public was mainly outraged when all manner of formerly-tax free items were taxed under HST. They demanded to go back to the old system. The dishonest BC Liberals changed the calculation back to PST (which was a extra cost to the taxpayers) but made more items taxable, such as used cars. Talk about a lose-lose situation.
To help the tax medicine go down, governments across Canada sometimes offer a cash back scheme billed as a GST/HST rebate. It actually has nothing to do with the tax since you need not provide any receipts for purchases or taxes paid. Its main function is to encourage people to file income tax promptly since you don’t get the cheque unless you have filed.
Both the USA and Canada have the idiotic rule that the vendor must remit tax to the buyer’s province. It would have made much more sense for the vendor to collect the tax based on his own province and to remit the tax to his province. After all that is the province that provided the services to create the good or service. It would have made sales tax an order of magnitude simpler for businesses. The vendor would not need to know anything about the buyer’s location, would have a single tax rate to consider, and a single place to remit taxes collected. Any difference in the total amounts calculated could have been corrected by a handful of cheques exchanged between the provinces or states.
Canadian Sales Tax Calculator
❘ precis ❘ screenshot ❘ browse source repository
for the current version of Canadian Sales Tax Calculator.
Applet to calculate Canadian Sales tax, GST, HST and PST today or for dates in the past
2.2MB zip for Canadian Sales Tax Calculator Java source, compiled class files, jar and documentation to run on your own machine either as an application or an Applet.
Runs on any OS that supports Java e.g. W2K/XP/W2003/Vista/W2008/W7-32/W7-64/W8-32/W8-64/W2012/Linux/LinuxARM/LinuxX86/LinuxX64/Ubuntu/Solaris/SolarisSPARC/SolarisSPARC64/SolarisX86/SolarisX64/OSX.
First install the most recent Java.
To install, extract the zip download with WinZip, (or similar unzip utility) into any directory you please, often J:\ — ticking off the use folder names option.
To check out the corresponding source from the Subversion repository, use the TortoiseSVN repo-browser to
After you have installed the jar, you can run it as an application. Type:
java -jar J:\com\mindprod\canadiantax\canadiantax.jar
adjusting as necessary to account for where the jar file is.
download ASP PAD XML program description for the current version of Canadian Sales Tax Calculator.
Canadian Sales Tax Calculator is free. Full source included. You may even include the source code, modified or unmodified in free/commercial open source/proprietary programs that you write and distribute. Non-military use only.
Sales taxes are flat taxes. Unlike progressive income taxes, everyone rich or poor pays the same rate. However, income taxes are full of loop holes the very rich can use to avoid income tax altogether. Conservative economists want to get rid of income taxes and raise sales taxes to remove tax burden from the upper middle class and put it on the lower middle. It is more difficult for them to avoid sales taxes. Sales taxes discourage consumption. So they can be looked on as a pro-environmental, anti-business tax. I would prefer a more pointedly pro-environmental tax, and more friendly to business, that heavily taxed wasteful use of energy and resources but did not tax prudent use of them. I would want to tax polluters at double the cost of cleanup. There are other ways of collecting revenue, by taxing income, wealth, luxury, sin (sex, alcohol, marijuana, gambling), lotteries, transportation or fees for government services.
The Liberal government switched from an 8% GST / 7% PST to a 15% HST. Ex-premier Van der Zalm lead a successful referendum to have it switched back. The tax on $100 is $15 either way? HST is slightly simpler to calculate. Why would anyone care passionately one way or the other? The problem was dishonesty. The provincial government claimed the tax was the same, just that HST was less costly to manage, but it turned out many more items were subject to the HST tax than had been under GST/PST.
For some reason the feds gave BC billions of dollars for making the switch to HST. Now they will have to give it back.
The bottom line is BC is still on HST, and the BC Liberals have been stalling the switch back. It is scheduled for 2013-04-01.
available on the web at:
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