Last minute rush to return to PST

PST registration is required for businesses in B.C.

Naomi Yamamoto

The brief era of the harmonized sales tax ended in B.C. Monday, with a last-minute scramble by thousands of businesses to register as collectors of the revived provincial sales tax.

About 100,000 businesses in B.C. are required to register and collect PST from customers. By the Easter weekend, about 80,000 of them had done so, said Naomi Yamamoto, B.C.’s minister of state for small business.

“I think what most consumers will be doing is looking at their receipts,” Yamamoto said Sunday. “In most cases they’ll be paying the same as they did prior to April 1, unless you’re getting your hair cut, or buying a ski ticket or you’re paying your golf membership or going to a restaurant, or buying a bike.”

The good news for barbers, bike shops, restaurants and other labour service providers is that they see a seven per cent tax reduction. The bad news is that they have to administer two sales taxes, the PST and the five per cent GST, which continues to apply to goods and services.

There are a few anomalies, such as insulation and weatherstripping, where sales tax falls by seven per cent as historic PST exemptions resume Monday, but most retail purchases will remain subject to both GST and PST at a combined rate of 12 per cent.

Yamamoto said businesses can register online by going to www.pstinbc.ca or www.gov.bc.ca/pst and selecting the registration link. Using incorporation documents, the process should take about 15 minutes.

Business owners who don’t register immediately can still correct transactions made after the deadline, because the first online remittance of PST is expected at the end of May.

Premier Christy Clark marked the transition with a video, reminding business operators to register. Clark noted that the HST was a benefit to the film industry, manufacturers and other businesses that benefited from input tax credits.

NDP finance critic Bruce Ralston said a statistically average family will be about $350 ahead with the removal of the HST, which was rejected in a mail-in referendum in June 2011.

Ralston acknowledged that low-income people will lose the increased HST rebates that have been paid quarterly since the HST took effect in 2010. But he said that will be balanced by the reduced sales taxes they pay in restaurants and other service purchases.

Tobacco taxes went up by seven per cent with the HST, and that tax will remain. Liquor taxes have also been adjusted to be unchanged with either tax, although restaurants will pay increased tax on liquor sales with the return to PST.

A separate seven per cent tax on private used vehicle purchases also remains in place. It was imposed along with the HST to make private sellers subject to the same taxation as car dealers.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke’s DeMamiel Creek project cost reduced by $200,000

Municipal staff lauded for coming up with savings, without compromising project

Light the City takes root in Greater Victoria as pandemic cancels holiday favourite parade, convoy

Five weeks of drive-thru events fill void of IEOA annual Truck Light Convoy, Santa Claus Parade

Oak Bay High head shave lives on despite COVID-19

Students hustle money for Tour de Rock under constraints of pandemic

PHOTOS: Tour de Rock riders zoom through Sooke, visit big donor

11-year-old Sooke girl raised over $10,000 for Tour de Rock with bottle drive

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

B.C. VOTES 2020: Wilkinson to stop 24-hour camping in city parks

Ban on ‘unsafe roadside panhandling’ to be enforced

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. salmon farm opponents demand answers from DFO

First Nations, conservation groups dismayed by omission of sea lice in risk assessments

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

Most Read