Monday, May 14, 2007

My Car, My Hassles (Part 2)

So, where we we?

I bought the car in Nova Scotia. The car is in Nova Scotia. I am in Ontario. The car is uninsured, and unregistered. Edgar is still dead, and now Milo is too.

Recall from last week's post that I had bought a brand new car in Nova Scotia and needed to register it in Ontario.

When I bought the car in Nova Scotia I had to, of course, pay the Nova Scotian RST. Nova Scotia tax works a little differently than Ontario tax. In Ontario you see the price of a product, and then you add 6% GST and add 8% PST that's added on. Both percentages are calculated on the list price, so you're not paying tax on the tax. So you pay a total of 14% tax.

In Nova Scotia there's only one tax called the HST. The HST is a 14% tax charged on the list price. I'm not 100% sure, but I think all of that tax is collected by the CRA. They, then, break it down into 6% GST and 8% PST and give that back to the Nova Scotia Department of Finance.

When you register a new car in a province other than where you bought it, you must pay the RST in the province where you're registering. So, having already paid the Nova Scotian tax, I now have to pay the Ontario tax. On a brand new car, that's not a small amount.

When I bought the car I was told by the dealership that Ontario and Nova Scotia probably had something worked out where I wouldn't have to recover the taxes myself, but the governments could work it out for themselves.

So I went on a mission to call the MTO to get the information I needed. I needed to know what I needed to do to get my car registered;

  1. Would I need an emissions test?

  2. Would the car need to be safetied?

  3. What documents would I need to register the car?

  4. How can I recover the Nova Scotian Tax?

  5. Do I register a car before I insure it, or the other way around?

  6. Also, when I bought the car, the dealership gave me a temporary permit until I could register the car. It was good for 30 days. Would I need to get another trip permit from Ontario, or would the dealership's permit be good enough?

I went to the MTO website to find their number. There wasn't one single number. I could either call a private registration office, a regional office, or the head office. I called them in that order.

The private registration office in Embrun was useless. First, I was greeted with a French computer telling me what buttons to push for what options. Funny. I thought Ontario was an officially English province and I should have been greeted with English first, with the option to switch to French. Not t'other way around. Anyway...

When I finally got to a MTO employee I asked my questions. She told me I would not need an emissions test, but I would need the car to be safetied. I thought this sounded wrong, because it was a brand new car. There were 4 km on it! And it had just passed the Nova Scotian safety inspection. She told me she didn't know about Nova Scotian tax, but she couldn't do anything for me, except that she had to collect the Ontarian tax. I didn't get any further with her because she was a front-line worker, not a telephone answerer and she put me on hold. So I hung up and called the regional office.

The person working at the regional office told me I would not need an emissions test, but I might need a safety inspection for the car, and I should call the head office to find out. So I called the head office.

They told me the car would not need a safety inspection because it was brand new. I told her what I was told by the Registry, and she gave me her name and told me to tell them to call her if they wanted me to get the car safetied. Okay. Good. but how do I get my Nova Scotia tax money back? She told me that I would have to contact the Ontario Ministry of Finance.

So I called the Ministry of Finance and they told me that they had nothing to do with that. They only collected the Ontario tax, and I would need to contact the Nova Scotia Department of Finance.

The Nova Scotia Department of Finance said "if someone were to buy a new car in Ontario and paid PST there and then came to Nova Scotia to register it here, he would NOT have to pay PST here when he registered it. Nova Scotia would recover the PST from Ontario through its own ways." They went on to say that they couldn't be sure, but they suspected it was the same in Ontario, only reversed.

They asked who I had spoken with, and I told them the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. They said "don't talk to them but to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. He says the front line people will know." I guess he doesn't know the Registry is part of the Ministry of Transportation.

So, anyway, he was telling me to call a front line worker with the MTO which, if you recall, was the first place I called.

I had just come full circle.

Well, I can see this blog entry is long enough. So, I will have to pause here and leave you hungering for more. So join me next week, same car day, same car blog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My grief! Andrew I'm tempted to take this post into the office and pass it around. You've certainly entered one of the levels of bureaucratic hell with this adventure.