What's the best practice for a business in Ontario (Federal corporation with office and operations registered in Ontario and nowhere else) making sales by mail order to customers in Quebec? I've been unable to get a straight answer from the Quebec government about whether I need to register for their QST; all the information I've been able to get seems to be for businesses that have actual operations, not only customers, in Quebec. The process for registering to collect QST *appears* (though I suspect translation errors or that I'm looking at the wrong information sources) to require as a precondition that I must register my corporation as more or less based in Quebec (as I've registered it in Ontario), with hundreds of dollars of up-front fees to do that, obligations to pay corporate income taxes there, and so on. Not happening; if that were a genuine requirement then I would simply refuse to ship my products to Quebec and lose that market.
So... what do other mail order businesses in Canada do, given that I can't possibly be the first one ever to contemplate this question? If you have sales to customers who are in Quebec, do you charge them QST or just GST? And if you charge QST, through what process did you register for it?
Here is a link you would find very useful.
You must register to collect and remit the Quebec sales tax (QST) only when you have operation in the province (such as production or marketing activities), when you hire an employee and/or when you have an address in Quebec. Otherwise, you are not obligated to collect QST on behalf of the province if you sell taxable goods and services to residents of Quebec.
So in your case, you charge GST 5%.
Have a look at our GST / HST guide for Shopify stores based in Canada. A full setup document is included to get your store up-and-running in just a few minutes.
Once all the tax settings are correctly configured, our invoicing app Sufio can help you to issue correct invoices compliant with the latest Canadian GST legislation.
Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any other questions and we will be very happy to assist you, Matthew.
All the best!