Local accountant warns of tax override

by Bill Jackson - The Regional

May 27, 2009

Any person who shops in Haldimand County must pay GST and PST despite a letter written by Six Nations Elected Chief expressing the band council's position that they aren't required to.

The letter dated Sept. 11, 2008 has allegedly been presented to local businesses in Caledonia and is signed by Chief William Montour.

"Canadian taxes do not apply on the Six Nations Tract," the letter reads. "Without limitation, this includes GST, PST, excise taxes duties, and income tax... Citizens, business and entities on the Six Nations Tract are not required to collect the GST or any other form of tax on behalf of any Canadian government."

Doug Plank, a local chartered accountant said that local businesses will be responsible for paying the taxes if they allow exemptions.

"My main concern is with my clients and the protection of their rights to collect tax under the laws they have to follow,": he said.

"My biggest concern was the comment that it's Six Nations' decision to do this., It's not their decision."

The Excise Tax Act is quite clear on the collection of GST, he contends.

"If the goods are bought off reserve by an individual they are subject to tax, they are only exempt if delivered to a reserve address (by the vendor)."

The only valid status cards which allow PST exemption are the ones issued by the federal government, Plank added.

"Those issued by Six Nations or the province are not valid and only applies to those who reside on the reserve (not those who live in town)."

According to information provided by Ontario's Retail Sales Tax Guide, taxable goods and services acquired on reserves by persons other that status Indians, Indian bands or band councils are subject to RST. Exemptions are not available to corporations.

Status Indians and bands may claim an exemption from RST, provided the items will be used on a reserve.