Ottawa, October 28, 2010

Archived - Government of Canada Announces GST Relief for Royal Canadian Legion Purchases of Remembrance Day Poppies and Wreaths

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today announced amendments to the Excise Tax Act to provide a 100 per cent rebate of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on Remembrance Day poppies and wreaths acquired by the Royal Canadian Legion from private sector suppliers. 

“Our Government is pleased to provide GST relief that will support the Remembrance Day Poppy Campaign. The proposed measure recognizes the special status of poppies and wreaths as symbols of the contribution, courage and sacrifices of those who served in the Canadian Forces,” said Minister Flaherty.

“For decades, the Royal Canadian Legion has been active in helping Veterans organize Remembrance activities and memorials,” said Minister Blackburn. “It is important for our Government to support the Legion in return.”

The Royal Canadian Legion is already exempt from charging and collecting GST on the Remembrance Day poppies and wreaths they provide. The rebate will allow the Legion to recover any GST they pay on their purchases of poppies and wreaths from private sector suppliers. This change restores the tax relief that effectively existed for poppies and wreaths prior to 1996. Because of this rebate, Remembrance Day poppies and wreaths will now be fully GST-free.    

“Our Poppy Campaign is the foundation of our Remembrance program and a main source of funding for the benevolent activities of our organization for our Veterans,” said Patricia Varga, Dominion President of the Royal Canadian Legion. “We are pleased that the government is taking this step to restore tax relief for our organization so that we can continue to provide Canadians with important symbols of remembrance to honour those men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.”

The rebate will be retroactive to January 1, 2010 to cover GST (and any other tax payable under Part IX of the Excise Tax Act) on the current year’s poppies and wreaths acquired by the Royal Canadian Legion.

For further information, media may contact:

Annette Robertson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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