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Stewardship Ontario wins Tax Court ruling on MHSW input tax credits

Stewardship Ontario has received a favourable decision from the Tax Court of Canada on its claim for GST/HST input tax credits for fees related to the Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) program.

Stewardship Ontario has collected GST/HST on MHSW invoices and remitted GST/HST to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) since the program’s inception in 2008. However, CRA denied the program’s claims for input tax credits which included GST/HST on amounts paid to third-party service providers for recycling and disposal of materials. As a result, any GST/HST paid by Stewardship Ontario had to be included in total program costs charged to stewards.

After pursuing administrative remedies with CRA for many years, Stewardship Ontario appealed a CRA ruling that culminated in a 2017 trial. In the recently released ruling, the judge rejected various CRA arguments and determined that Stewardship Ontario provides a service that entitles it to receive input tax credits.

While the initial claim of $18 million was for the period between 2011 and 2013, the final amount will take into account subsequent GST/HST input tax credit claims, plus interest. When the funds are received, they will be allocated to MHSW’s material specific reserves. As Stewardship Ontario has been directed to develop a wind up plan for MHSW by June 30, 2019, distribution of any material specific reserves will be considered in the wind up plan.

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