Posted on December 11th, 2023 in Tourism & Hospitality, Domestic Tax

SURCHARGE TO ACCEPT PAYMENT VIA CREDIT CARD: GST/HST? 

Photo of cashier handing customer a credit card. Both people are femail.

As of October 2022, merchants could charge an additional fee for accepting payment via credit card. In a March 28, 2023, Technical Interpretation, CRA opined that the additional fee would be a separate exempt supply of a financial service and, therefore, not subject to GST/HST if all of the following conditions are met:

  • the fee is charged to the cardholder solely for the acceptance of the use of the credit card as a payment method and is not charged if another payment method is used;
  • the fee is imposed by (and is thus the revenue of) the merchant who provides to the cardholder the property or service that is purchased with the use of the credit card and not by a person who acts as a billing agent or payment service provider in facilitating the payment;
  • the fee is subject to the relevant credit card network rules relating to surcharging, including rules regarding the calculation and level of the surcharge; and • the fee is shown and charged separately to the cardholder.

ACTION ITEM: If charging an additional fee to accept credit cards, ensure you satisfy the above conditions to ensure the fee is not subject to GST/HST.

Article originally published in: Tax Tips & Traps 2023 Fourth Quarter – Issue 144.