The goods and services tax in Ontario applies to most Canadian goods and services as well as imported supplies, real property and intangible personal property, notes the Canada Revenue Agency. Participating provinces such as Ontario that have harmonized their provincial sales tax with the goods and services tax impose a harmonized sales tax instead. In addition to the supplies exempt nationwide, specific items in Ontario receive point-of-sale exemptions for the tax's provincial portion, reports the Ontario Ministry of Finance.
The harmonized sales tax rate in Ontario is 13 percent as of 2015, according to the Ontario Ministry of Finance. The Ontario portion of this tax rate is 8 percent. This portion receives a point-of-sale exemption for items such as books and printed newspapers, feminine hygiene products, eligible food and beverages, and certain children's goods, including diapers, clothing and footwear, car seats and car booster seats. Qualifying off-reserve purchases are exempt for First Nations Indians.
Nationally, some supplies are subject to a 0 percent goods and services tax, explains the Canada Revenue Agency. Zero-rated supplies include basic groceries, agricultural products, prescription drugs and medical devices. Additionally, certain services and property are not taxable at all. Exempt items include used residential housing, most health care services, child care, legal aid and many educational services, including music lessons.