PST returns April 1

With the reintroduction of the Provincial Sales Tax this Monday, April 1, 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.

The convenient online eTaxBC PST registration tool 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:  o Returning to the PST - An Overview for Business of 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: [email protected]
  • 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 here.

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 here.

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 here.

"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," said Yamamoto. 

"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."

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