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Recent visit to Niagara Falls Canada - Taxes and Fees

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Waterford...
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Recent visit to Niagara Falls Canada - Taxes and Fees

My husband and I recently spent a very nice weekend in Niagara Falls. On our first day there, we went in to a lovely shop in Clifton to purchase some souvenirs. The sales clerk was very helpful and also advised us of the taxes and fees being charged in Canada.

The following taxes will apply to your purchase, dining, and lodging in Niagara Falls:

HST/TVH - Hamonized Sales Tax up to 14%

TPS/GST - Goods & Services Tax 6%

TVQ/PST - Provincial Sales Tax

PF - Promotional Fee 3.39%

DPF/DMF - Destination Marketing Fee 3%

There are many other tax and fee abbreviations, however, it seems to get quite confusing. My understanding of this is that the "fees" are voluntary. Although they are automatically added on to your bills, you can ask to have them removed prior to paying for your purchase, hotel, dining, etc.

Perhaps somebody more familiar with the area can help to shed some additional light on all these taxes and fees.

Just on our hotel alone, we saved $32.31 by asking to have this fee removed. It was bad enough that we ended up spending over $140.00 just in taxes alone.

Travelers, be careful of the taxes vs. fees. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY THE FEES!

All in all a nice trip, albeit and expensive one.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: Recent visit to Niagara Falls Canada - Taxes and Fees

Note that the HST has replaced the GST and PST - you don't pay all three of them. www.rev.gov.on.ca/en/taxchange/hst.html

London, Canada
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2. Re: Recent visit to Niagara Falls Canada - Taxes and Fees

Interesting - I never knew that the DMF was voluntary.

Ocean County, NJ
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3. Re: Recent visit to Niagara Falls Canada - Taxes and Fees

Thanks for the heads up! On our way in 2 weeks and will look out for that!

detroit
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4. Re: Recent visit to Niagara Falls Canada - Taxes and Fees

Say what?

I'm confused, never heard of voluntary taxes/fees

I do know one has to be careful around Niagara or you will overpay.

My last trip to the falls was New Years Day, I went online that day to double check which exit the hotel was off the QEW and to my surprise the room rate went from over $100 to only $53, I asked about it during check in and got the cheaper rate. I saved over $50 after taxes

Jasper, Canada
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5. Re: Recent visit to Niagara Falls Canada - Taxes and Fees

In Canada, most (possibly all, but I don't know for sure) DMFs (destination marketing fees) are voluntary. Cities, towns and municipalities do not have the legal jurisdiction to charge sales taxes, only property taxes. Only provincial and federal governments can charge sales taxes. That's why DMFs are called "fees" and not a tax. In some jurisdictions, businesses do not have a choice about belonging to the DMO (destination marketing organization) to which the fees go, for marketing the area - it is sometimes a condition of getting a local business license. (Not sure about Niagara Falls.) In other areas, businesses opt in to the organization and collect the fee. In most cases, the business has to pay the fee to the DMO regardless of whether they actually collected it or not from the customer (the businesses' GST/HST returns are commonly used to audit sales figures), so if a lot of people opt out of the fee, the business will have to either absorb it as a cost, or increase their prices to cover it.

DMFs are very common, in both Canada and the US destinations.

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Recent visit to Niagara Falls Canada - Taxes and Fees

HST is 13%, not "up to 14%.". GSTwhich was 5% and PST (generally at 8%) have been rolled into that tax which replaces the earlier ones.

TVH/TPS and TPQ (taxe provinciale quebec) are the French names for the taxes and you would only typically see those in Quebec.

detroit
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7. Re: Recent visit to Niagara Falls Canada - Taxes and Fees

Hmm, learn something new all the time, thanks!

Niagara Falls, ON
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8. Re: Recent visit to Niagara Falls Canada - Taxes and Fees

In Niagara Falls, there is no central agency that collects DMF's. Each establishment that charges a fee keeps it to do as they wish, with no accountability to anyone. It is apparently legal because it is like other fees - parking, wireless, whatever - that places can add to bills. Whether it goes to an agency or is kept, I don't consider it very ethical.

But I should note that Niagara Falls is not unique. I have been researching hotels in Myrtle Beach, where the actual legal tax at hotels is 13%. One hotel listed taxes and fees (no breakdown as to what they are) that amounted to 34% of the room rate. Now that's outrageous!!!

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Recent visit to Niagara Falls Canada - Taxes and Fees

Fallsdude-when are tourist towns going to learn these fees, and rip off charges just irritate people.

I remember 40 years ago Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce used to bill itself "The World's Most Famous Address". Now they nickel and dime you to promote it as a tourist resort so that the hotels and restaurants can earn even more. I call it money grubbing, nothing but....and I agree, your Myrtle Beach hotel is disgraceful in adding taxes and fees do that degree.

Waterford...
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10. Re: Recent visit to Niagara Falls Canada - Taxes and Fees

I actually asked them to remove that additional fee from our bill after we'd had dinner at Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse. He gladly removed it, PLUS he gave us an additional 10% discount.

The girl in the gift shop at our hotel (Marriott Falls View) didn't have a clue what I was talking about and refused to remove that fee. $.81 so I just let it go.

When we went to check out of hotel, I asked the girl at the front desk to remove that fee, at first she claimed not to know what I was talking about, said she wanted to wait for the manager who was on the phone and then just decided to remove it.

Stand firm on this with people as they will try not to have to remove it. In general though, everybody was fine with removing the fee.