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Important Information for the Return of PST

February 4, 2013

On April 1, 2013, BC will return to a provincial sales tax (PST) system, under the new Provincial Sales Tax Act. Although the new legislation and regulations will look quite different than the old legislation and regulations, the new PST will apply in substantially the same way that the old PST applied, with all of the same permanent exemptions.

Please note that the amount of GST to be charged on the supply of goods and services will change with the new PST/GST system. In most cases, the rates for the supply of goods and services in BC will be 5% for GST and 7% for PST.

Businesses previously registered to collect PST or hotel room tax will need to apply for a new PST registration number. When you register, you will be assigned a new PST number.

The PST will generally apply to:

  • the purchase or lease of new and used goods in BC
  • goods brought, sent or delivered into BC for use in BC
  • the purchase of:
    • software
    • services to goods such as vehicle maintenance, furniture assembly, computer repair
    • accommodation
    • legal services
    • telecommunication services, including internet services and digital and electronic media content such as music and movies
  • gifts of vehicles, boats and aircraft

Reporting and paying PST means filing a tax return and paying the government the PST you collected on your sales and PST you owe on the purchases you make to run your business.

The PST transitional rules describe how and when PST will apply to transactions that straddle April 1, 2013. The general transitional rule for the purchase of goods will operate on the basis of the time at which consideration in respect of the purchase of the goods becomes due.

The housing transitional rules help ensure that when people buy a newly built home, whether built entirely under the HST, entirely under the PST, or under both the HST and PST, they will all pay an equivalent amount of tax.


You can register online, in person, or by mail or fax. A new online system, called eTaxBC, allows you to register, file and pay PST, and manage your PST account online. Registration is now open. All businesses that are required to be registered are considered to be collectors whether or not they are actually registered. All collectors have specific obligations to charge, collect and remit PST.

If you would like more information on this topic, please contact a member of the Empire CPA team by filling out the contact form below.

Canadian and foreign tax laws are complex and have a tendency to change on a frequent basis. As such, the content published above is believed to be accurate as of the date of this post. Before implementing any tax planning, please seek professional advice from a qualified tax professional. Empire, Chartered Professional Accountants will not accept any liability for any tax ramifications that may result from acting based on the information contained above.

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