The final legislative amendments to complete the Provincial Sales Tax Act were introduced in the legislature today by Finance Minister Michael de Jong, bringing the province one step closer to a re-implemented PST on April 1, 2013.
Bill 2 provides transitional provisions and consequential and related amendments to other statutes that are required for the re-implementation of the PST. Measures include:
- Increasing tobacco tax rates to offset the elimination of the provincial portion of the HST on tobacco, keeping the overall tax and price of tobacco generally constant after April 1, 2013.
- Re-implementing the 2.7 cents per litre tax on propane as of April 1, 2013.
- Clarifying the requirements and taxation of heating oil, non motor fuel oil and natural gas to explain when PST applies and when motor fuel tax applies.
- Minor changes to the New Housing Transition Tax and Rebate Act, which came into force on Dec. 1, 2012.
The act also includes transitional provisions that set out when PST would apply to transactions that straddle April 1, 2013. These rules work in conjunction with the federal government rules for the elimination of HST in B.C. New housing transitional rules were first announced Feb. 17, 2012, and general transitional rules were announced Oct. 15, 2012.
The legislation introduced today reflects the unofficial consolidation released to the public on Jan. 9, and includes changes that have been made to ensure the final version includes all measures necessary for a smooth transition.
The government remains on track to return to the PST April 1, 2013, and has been running an extensive business outreach program to have businesses register for PST and to help businesses understand their obligations. It's estimated that more than 100,000 businesses will need to register for the PST, and, come April 1, more than 30,000 businesses will have started up since the HST was introduced-meaning they could have no prior experience with the tax.
Businesses that sell or lease taxable goods, or sell software or taxable services in B.C., are now able to register to collect the tax. A new PST number will be assigned once the business registration application is processed. Businesses can register three ways:
- Online - go to: www.gov.bc.ca/etaxbc/register
- In person - go to the nearest Service BC Centre. See locations at: www.servicebc.gov.bc.ca/ - or visit our office at 1802 Douglas St. in Victoria.
- By mail or fax - complete the Application for Registration for Provincial Sales Tax (FIN 418) found at: www.gov.bc.ca/pst (Go to Forms and Publications.)
Minister of Finance Michael de Jong -
"With just over six weeks before April 1 and the reimplementation of the PST, government will seek to have this bill approved as soon as possible, so that the regulations can be passed as soon as the bill receives royal assent. Completing the full framework with as little delay as possible will give businesses that need to collect and remit the PST time to finish their preparations."
"Businesses have as much information as they need to register and begin understanding the re-implemented PST. As we committed in August 2011, we are returning to the PST with all the permanent exemptions. Businesses can see the notices we have issued, staff are delivering seminars and webinars, taking calls and answering questions. Businesses need to act- help themselves, register, and get the information they need before April 1 is upon them."
- 959 businesses have registered for webinars and 23 webinars have been completed.
- So far, more than 1,463 requests for one-on-one consultations with a ministry tax specialist have been received, and more than 1011 consultations have been completed.
- 17 seminars were completed in January. More than 45 seminars with chambers of commerce and business associations and other presentations are currently scheduled before the end of March.
- Thousands of questions from businesses have already been answered by phone and email.
Contacts for more info:
- Businesses with questions about the PST can call the toll-free help line - 1 877 388-4440, or
- Email questions to: CTBTaxQuestions@gov.bc.ca
View Bill 2, and keep track of its progress at:
More information on the return to PST and links to publications, tools and services can be found at: www.gov.bc.ca/pst
Subscribe to email updates at the What's New page at: www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/msbr/whats_new/consumer_taxes/whatsnew.htm
Learn more about the transition rules for new housing at:
Ministry of Finance