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PST on Imports

June 10, 2013

Tax Question:

If I am importing goods into British Columbia (BC) do I have to collect and remit PST?


Whenever you import goods or services into BC from other provinces or countries you need to identify if you have to pay PST on that item and remit the right amount of tax to the Minister of Finance.


Generally, if a tangible personal property (goods and related services) are brought into BC from outside the province they are subject to PST unless they qualify for an exemption For example, they are being purchased for resale or they are qualifying machinery and equipment purchases.

When purchasing a product or service from another country the supplier is unlikely to be aware of, the sales taxes that arise in BC nor do they have any requirement to collect and remit BC sales tax. Therefore as the importer, you must self-assess the PST and remit it to the Minister of Finance. When purchasing goods or services from other provinces the PST act requires those businesses that sell, accept purchase orders, deliver and solicit for orders of taxable goods to customers in BC, to register as a collector of the tax, irrespective of which province they are actually located in. This means that, under the place of supply rules, if the business is selling goods into BC they should be charging PST. If a supplier, either out of province or out of the country, does not charge PST you are required to self-assess and pay the PST due on the total landed cost of the goods brought into BC. The self-assessment can be completed as part of completing your regular PST return.

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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