August 28, 2006
Sending products or paperwork over the border... watch out for the tax man
Is your company sending promotional material over the Canada / US border? If so then your clients may be in for a surprise when they get invoices from the courier company to pay Provincial (PST) and Federal (GST) taxes. I tell ya, this Canadian government never ceases to amaze me and I won't hesitate to tell you that the main reason I'm sooo looking forward to returning to the US to live and work.. simply put, the government here makes me want to puke! These guys can't catch people cheating on their taxes or even avoiding paying taxes at all yet they can manage to get me an invoice to $2 in taxes to be paid on an envelope i received 4 days ago that contained brochures and product specs on some hardware and a simple t-shirt. Now they want me to slap 85 cents worth of postage on an envelope and submit $2 and change to cover taxes... are you freaking kidding me???? What the hell is this going to cost in paperwork alone??? Way to promote doing business up here guys... you folks in Ottawa are indeed rocket scientists aren't you. How about the thousands of Canadians every single day that trek over the 49th parallel for cheap(er) gas and fill up in the USA, grab a case of cheap beer and come back to Canada sans duty on these products. Oh, most average Canucks will also grab a block of cheese and a few groceries on their daily trip over the border too.... however, the small business up here trying to make a deal is constantly raked over the coals... ever wonder why there's a brain drain inn Canada??? It never ends. So a tip, when you send any literature of anythinng over the border be sure to state that the value of the goods you're shipping in about $2 and no more unless you want your potential clients to get ticked off. Of note, I once had a cell phone sent to me as a trial unit and got slammed with $100 bill for taxes.. this was for a demo unit that I was to send back in several weeks... you gotta love free trade! So, I guess I better start practicing again - I pledge allegiance to the flag.....
Posted by Glenn Letham