Status Cards: What Do You Need to Know?

Indigenous Status Card

The Status Card Means No Provincial Sales Tax

Thunder Bay- BUSINESS – In Ontario, a person with a Status Card can claim an exemption from provincial tax when purchasing goods at businesses.

Following a report that a local business would not accept a Status Card claiming that the Thunder Bay District Health Unit had advised them due to COVID-19 that was alright, a claim the TBDHU has rejected completely, here is some information for businesses across Ontario on what a Status card covers.

New Information: Status card validity during COVID-19 pandemic

  • Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) has extended the validity date of status cards until further notice.
  • Service providers should accept status cards or Temporary Confirmation of Registration Documents (TCRDs), with identification, even if the renewal or expiry date has passed.
  • Indian status does not expire. Your registration number confirms your status and can be used to access some services and programs.

Here is what you need to know: Ontario Sales Tax

Effective September 1, 2010, Status Indians may claim an exemption from paying the eight per cent Ontario component of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on qualifying property or services at the point of sale.

Qualifying property and services are described in Guide 80 – Ontario First Nations Point-of-Sale Exemptions. To receive the exemption, the Status Indian must present their “Certificate of Indian Status” identity card at the time of making a purchase.

The Ontario Government states: “The point-of-sale exemption for Status Indians, Indian bands and councils of an Indian band will apply only to qualifying off-reserve acquisitions or importations of property or services that are for the personal consumption of the Status Indian or exclusively for consumption or use by the band or the council of the band.

“The Status Indian point-of-sale exemption will not apply where any other relief is available, such as:

  • when the purchaser is eligible for input tax credits for the HST payable (e.g., because the purchase is for use in the purchaser’s commercial activities);
  • in cases where the supply is already relieved of the HST because it is zero-rated (e.g., basic groceries) or exempt (e.g., certain health care services); or
  • when the property is a designated item that qualifies for an Ontario point-of-sale rebate for the Ontario component of the HST (e.g., children’s clothing, printed books).

“Effective September 1, 2010, vendors will provide a credit (exemption) at the time of sale of the eight per cent Ontario component of the HST for qualifying off-reserve property or services.

“Also effective September 1, 2010, the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) will credit the eight per cent Ontario component of the HST on qualifying goods imported by Ontario Status Indians, Indian bands and councils of Indian bands”.

In situations where a Status Indian is claiming the HST point-of-sale exemption, vendors should:

  • visually confirm that the photograph on the Status card is that of the purchaser
  • record the transaction date, person’s name, card number, band registry number, and a brief description of the property or services sold.

Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document

In addition to the certificates listed above, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) issues a Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document (TCRD) to newly registered individuals. This document may be used as proof of an individual’s registration, pending issuance of the individual’s Secure Certificate of Indian Status or Certificate of Indian Status.

This is a paper document. It will not have a photograph.

Features of the TCRD:

  • includes a statement that the individual named therein is registered as an Indian under the Indian Act Canada
  • is printed on AANDC letterhead with red Canada logo
  • the raised seal of the Indian Registrar is on the bottom right of the document
  • indicates a “valid until” date after which it should no longer be used.

Suppliers may confirm the individual’s identity by asking the individual to provide another piece of photo identification. To view a sample of the TCRD visit the AANDC website at, or for more information call 1 800 567-9604, or fax your enquiry to 1 866 817-3977.

There are other medical benefits with a status card including prescription drugs, dental care, and vision care to name a few.

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