News and Insights

Manitoba Updates Several RST Bulletins

Tax Development Jul 15, 2013

Manitoba (“MB”) released several updates to bulletins regarding the Retail Sales Tax (“RST”) at the end of June. Although, many were simply updated to include the increase in the RST rate effective July 1, 2013, others included some additional information in the hopes of clarifying the application of RST. 

In the following bulletins, new examples of exempt and/or taxable items are included with minor changes to wording in some cases:

Bulletin No. 003, “Lawn and Garden Supplies”, outlines the application of RST on lawn and garden supplies commonly sold for domestic use by businesses, such as greenhouses, nurseries, landscapers and garden stores. 

Bulletin No. 005, “Information for Contractors”, explains the RST requirements affecting contractors.  MB has specified under the section entitled Tax on temporary use of equipment owned by non-resident contractors that equipment must be owned for greater than 30 days before it is brought into MB, in order to qualify for temporary use status.  Otherwise, the equipment will be taxed at the full 8%.  Lastly, clarification on the permanent exemptions applying to sales made to Indians, Indian Bands and the federal government has been noted under the section How does tax apply to contracts involving both real property and TPP?

Bulletin No. 009, “Sound, Lighting and Audio-Visual Services”, summarizes the RST application on equipment purchased by businesses that provide such services and related equipment rentals.  Further details have been added to the discussion surrounding the tax applicable to equipment that is brought into MB on a temporary basis.

Bulletin No. 015, “Printing, Desktop Publishing and Related Services”, outlines the application of RST on printed matter, and printing services, including desktop publishing and related services.  One additional exemption is listed in Section 3 – Exemption for books related to books in which less than 10% of the content includes space for written responses.  This addition may have been made to clarify that most workbooks do not qualify for the exemption; however, books with reading group discussion questions included at the end would still qualify.

Bulletin No. 019, “Municipalities, Municipality Governments and Local Government Districts” (which includes cities, towns and villages) has some minor changes including:

  • fire-related equipment has been clarified to include rescue equipment;
  • the section on sand, gravel and shredded tires has now been revised to include recycled asphalt and sand/salt mixtures; and
  • exempt flood control goods will now include polyethylene vapour barriers and membranes used in dike building.  

Bulletin No. 027, “Aircraft Purchased for Commercial Use” applicable to commercial air carriers and other businesses that use aircraft for the purposes of trade, contains an update for the exemptions available for air ambulances.

Bulletin No. 031, “Mechanical and Electrical Trades”, explains how RST applies to mechanical and electrical trades, and has been updated to include additional notes for clarification of applicable exemptions.

Section 3 of Bulletin No. 037, “Promotional Distributors” has been re-worded to clarify the application of RST to the distribution (as opposed to the consumption) of promotional materials in the province.

Bulletin No. 038, “Sand, Gravel, Concrete and Asphalt”, provides information on how RST is to be applied by businesses that process, manufacture, sell or install sand and gravel products.  Services to direct agents, such as installation, or repairs and maintenance, have been specifically identified as RST-exempt in this version.

Bulletin No. 039, “Film, Video and Audio Productions”, explains the application of RST on transactions relating to this industry.  Information on the temporary use of equipment brought into MB has been added to this bulletin for out-of-province businesses conducting such production activities in MB.  In addition, reference is made to the MB film and video production tax credit that is available until December 31, 2016.

Bulletin No. 044, “Information for Interjurisdictional Motor Carriers” and Bulletin No. 046, “Sales to Interjurisdictional Motor Carriers” have been updated for some of the following:

  • the prescribed tax rates to be used for each calendar year from the year of acquisition onwards;
  • an exemption for washing and cleaning services for Interjurisdictional vehicles; and
  • taxable optional accessories and consumable supplies.

In addition,  a link to Manitoba’s Apportioned Registration Manual has been provided.

Also, Bulletin No. 045, “Oil Producers, Oil Well Drilling and Service Contractors” has been revised to include the updated rules on purchased and leased equipment brought into Manitoba for temporary use by non-resident contractors, as well as additional examples of exempt and taxable items.

Lastly, Bulletin No. 058, “Engineering Design Services” has been completely revamped with the following:

  • The tax will apply whether or not the services relate to a completed project;
  • Two new sections on “Other Taxable Goods and Services” and “Tax on Purchases of Design Services Related to Tangible Personal Property” have been added.

In the following bulletins, new information was added to reflect changes announced in the 2013 budget pertaining to new or expanded RST exemptions, effective July 1, 2013:

Bulletin No. 001, “Clothing, Footwear and Accessories”, which explains how RST applies to these items, makes reference to newly exempted baby items as well as clarifying details on exempt sports uniforms.

The summary of taxable and exempt goods and services available in Bulletin No. 030 has been revised for exemptions on: 

  • baby supplies (also discussed in detail in Bulletin No. 055 issued specifically for this);
  • child safety restraint systems;
  • gravel, sand, sand/salt mixtures (containing at least 80% sand), recycled asphalt or shredded tires; and
  • bicycle helmets.

Bulletin No. 050, “Exemption on Used Furniture”, explains the exemptions available for sales of used furniture, now including baby furniture and other goods and accessories used to care for babies.

Bulletin No. 055, “Baby Supplies”, explains the 2013 Budget changes affecting baby supplies.  Originally issued in April, the new version has additional examples of items that are exempt from RST and those that continue to be taxable.