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Canada to remove sales tax on masks and face shields temporarily

Canadians will get a break on taxes when purchasing certain masks and face shields during the pandemic, according to the fall economic statement.

The federal government wrote in the economic report that GST/HST relief is proposed for the essential items temporarily.

The zero-rating of the GST/HST would apply to face masks (medical and non-medical) and face shields designed for human use that meet certain specifications.

Masks that would meet the requirements include a mask or respirator that is authorized for medical use, or meets N95, KN95 or equivalent certification requirements and does not have an exhalation valve or vent.

It would also apply to a face shield that has a transparent and impermeable window or visor, covers the entire face and has a head strap or cap for holding it in place, but is not “specifically designed or marketed for a use other than preventing the transmission of infectious agents, such as respiratory viruses.”

The measure would apply to supplies of these items made after December 6, 2020, and is proposed to only be in effect until their use is no longer broadly recommended by public health officials for the COVID-19 pandemic.