The Expert Panel on Business Taxation has submitted its report on B.C.'s Business Tax Competitiveness to Finance Minister Michael de Jong.
de Jong has asked the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services to include the report in the committee's annual provincewide budget consultation process this fall.
The expert panel was tasked with considering the competitiveness of British Columbia's tax environment for business and tax expenditures, and with identifying administrative improvements to the PST.
In March, the panel submitted an interim report with suggestions to improve the PST, a number of which have already been adopted:
- Adopting the existing federal business number to simplify the PST registration process.
- Levying the eight per cent Hotel Room Tax under the PST legislation, eliminating separate registration, remittances and returns, and reducing paperwork.
- Aligning the dates of filing and remittances for the PST and GST for monthly filers to the end of the month following the reporting period.
- Allowing retailers to refund tax directly to their customers in more circumstances.
- Using plain language in drafting legislation, regulations and in all communications related to compliance.
- Updating the Taxpayer Fairness and Service Code to reaffirm the government's commitment to fairness and service values.
- Allowing businesses that collect and remit tax to again receive a commission of up to $198 per reporting period.
The government has committed to return to the PST with all permanent exemptions on April 1, 2013.
Report of the Expert Panel on Business Taxation: www.fin.gov.bc.ca/experts_panel_tax.htm
For more information on how to provide input on next year's budget, visit: www.fin.gov.bc.ca/budgetconsultation/
Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services info on public consultations on 2013 Budget Consultations: www.leg.bc.ca/budgetconsultations/
Ministry of Finance