SIX NATIONS — The old white and blue gas card that for years has been required as proof of eligibility for purchasing tax-exempt gas on reserves is being phased out by the province in a move they say is to eliminate red tape.
Starting on January 1, 2020 — customers will now present a federal Indian status card for tax exemption on gas purchases.
The changes to Regulation 533, part of Ontario’s Gasoline Tax Act, also permit children under the age of 16 to continue purchasing gas but now using their own or their parents status cards to purchase tax exempt gas on reserve for their own use, for example in ATV’s or snowmobiles.
In an earlier press release, provincial officials said that band councils, band empowered entities and tribal councils will still be able to purchase tax exempt gas via an Ontario issued certificate which they will receive ahead of the January 1 change.
The change is also said to be a help to on-reserve retailers by “decreasing the processing time of refund payments and reducing the number of refund applications that are not able to be processed.”
There are no major operational costs for making the change, but some retailers will have minor costs to update their point of sale software in order to receive tax refunds.
Currently, status Indians must submit an application to the provincial government in order to receive a gas tax exemption certificate, also known as a gas card. Under current provincial regulations, no one may purchase tax exempt gas on reserve without a valid gas card.
As of January 1, federal Indian status cards — both the laminated certificate of Indian status and the secure certificate of Indian status — or a temporary registration document will be accepted at on-reserve gas retailers for the exemption.
The Ministry of Finance says those who are making large gas purchases, over 200 litres a day, through a local retailer may be asked to provide their contact information by the retailer at the point of sale so the Ministry can confirm those purchases. Those who need to purchase high volumes of gasoline are being asked to contact the Ministry of Finance directly.