With the reintroduction of the Provincial Sales Tax this Monday, April 1, 2013, government will continue to support businesses as they make the transition to the two-tax PST and GST system, Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Small Business, said today.
The general business PST enquiry lines will be open during the Easter weekend: Friday, March 29, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, March 30 through Monday, April 1 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The convenient online eTaxBC PST registration tool at - www.gov.bc.ca/eTaxBC/register - lets businesses register online from anywhere at any time.
Tools and services available to help businesses prepare for the re-implementation of the PST include:
- Online webinars covering the general principles of the PST and eTaxBC.
- PST bulletins and notices.
- Videos online:
- Returning to the PST - An Overview for Business
- PST in B.C. Online Registration
- Businesses with questions about the PST can call our toll-free general enquiry line - 1 877 388-4440 or email questions to: CTBTaxQuestions@gov.bc.ca
- Final regulations and legislation to re-implement the PST on April 1, 2013 are now available.
A new outreach program is being developed that will allow a business to have a ministry PST specialist do a general review of their accounts and systems to ensure they are set up properly to collect, report, remit and pay the PST. This program replaces the one-on-one tax specialist consultation program that helped businesses leading up to the transition. It will be of particular interest to those with no prior PST experience and small to medium businesses. This program is not an audit and the goal is to promote voluntary compliance with the PST, so businesses will have a chance to correct any errors without penalty initially. More information on this new program will be available soon at: www.gov.bc.ca/pstoutreach
As committed, the PST is being re-implemented with all permanent exemptions. Consumers will again not pay PST on purchases like food, restaurant meals, bicycles, gym memberships, movie tickets, and others, nor for personal services like haircuts.
Consumers and businesses can find a general guide to what's taxable and what's not at: www.gov.bc.ca/pst
Consumers who feel they have been charged the PST in error should see the retailer or service provider for a refund of the tax, or if the value is more than $10.00, complete the refund form at: www.gov.bc.ca/pst
Minister of State for Small Business Naomi Yamamoto -
"As promised, the PST is returning April 1, with some common-sense improvements to make administration of the sales tax easier for businesses - including access to online registration and payment, moving the due date for remittance and returns to the last day of the month to match the GST, and allowing retailers to refund tax to customers in a broader range of circumstances."
"The re-implementation of the PST will present challenges for some small businesses and there may be some confusion during the initial period, so I ask consumers to please be patient with businesses during the transition period."
"If you're a B.C. business owner and have not yet registered for the PST, please take advantage of the tools and services available to you, and make it a priority to be ready for Monday."
- As of Thursday, more than 74,000 businesses have applied for registration.
- More than 68,000 questions from businesses have been answered by phone and email.
- Direct phone calls about registration - 116,515 businesses contacted so far.
- To date, 28 publications that provide plain-language guidance on the application of PST and related exemptions have been released, plus PST regulations and legislation.
- 35 news releases and information bulletins issued to raise awareness of seminars, webinars, bulletins and notices.
- 36 webinars held so far, attended by 1,745 people, and two per week are scheduled until the end of April.
- So far 2,429 requests for one-on-one consultations with a ministry tax specialist have been received and 1,859 consultations have been completed.
- To date, 105 seminars with chambers of commerce and business associations and other presentations have been held, for 3,578 attendees.
- Print and online advertising underway.
- Two mass mailings to businesses (September and December 2012).
Businesses that sell or lease taxable goods, or sell software or taxable services in B.C. must register to obtain a new PST number, even if they have an old PST number.
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.)
Learn more about the services available to businesses to support the transition to PST: www.gov.bc.ca/pstoutreach
Consumers and businesses can find a guide to what's taxable and what's not, including exemptions at: www.gov.bc.bc/pst
The Canada Revenue Agency Business Enquiries line at 1 800 959-5525 will be open on Monday, April 1, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to assist with questions on the return of the federal GST in B.C.
Ministry of Finance