On April 1st, 2013 BC eliminated HST and returned to PST, a retail sales tax that applies when a taxable good or service is acquired for personal or business use unless a specific exemption applies. GST will be 5% and PST tax rates will be:
- General rate: 7% of the purchase or lease price.
- Liquor: 10% of the purchase price.
- Accommodation: 8% of the purchase price.
- Vehicles: 7% – 12% of the purchase or lease price (including the surtax for passenger vehicles valued at $55,000 or more), or 7% – 12% of the fair market value if received as a gift.
What’s taxable and what’s not?
- Retail sales tax on a taxable good or service acquired for personal or business use
- Purchase or lease of new or used goods
- Taxable goods brought, sent or delivered into BC for use here
- Software, services related to most taxable goods
- Accommodation, legal services, telecommunication services
- The lease of tangible personal property (goods) in BC for personal or business use, unless a specific exemption applies.
All former exemptions will be re-implemented, including but not limited to:
- All food for human consumption (e.g., basic groceries and prepared foods such as restaurant meals)
- Dry cleaning and tailoring
- Newspapers and magazines
- Exemptions for business (e.g., purchase of goods for resale, eligible machinery and equipment).
PST does not apply to most services, so transportation services, personal services such as haircuts or massages and most professional services such as accounting or engineering services should not be cha.
Download a detailed list here: What’s taxable?
Reporting and Remitting
Any PST that you charge must be paid and reported to the government regardless of if you have collected it from your customer. You must remit all PST charged within a reporting period no later than the last day of the month following the reporting period. For example, if you are reporting for a period ending June 30, you must file your return and remit the PST charged in that period no later than July 31.
Your reporting frequency will be determined at the time of registration based on how much PST you are estimated to collect per reporting period on sales and leases in BC. Reporting periods may be monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual.
Tax Collected per Year
Filing Frequency Options
More than $12,000
$6,000 – $12,000
Monthly or Quarterly
$3,000 – $6,000
Quarterly or Semi-Annual
Less than $3,000
Quarterly, Semi-Annual or Annual
If the amount of PST you regularly collect changes, you will be notified by letter by the government and your reporting frequency may be adjusted.
How do I pay?
· Online: You are able to file your PST return (including Nil returns), make payments, manage your accounts and more online. eTaxBC, is intended to streamline business processes around reporting and remitting PST.
· Internet Banking: Check with your financial institution to see if you can file your tax returns and make payments online through their website.
· Mail: Send the remittance coupon, your payment and any required documentation to: The Director, Provincial Sales Tax, PO Box 9443 Stn Prov Govt, Victoria BC V8W 9W7
Collectors who are registered as required are entitled to a commission for each reporting period in which they remit PST as required and on time. Collectors with more than one PST account may only claim commission on one of those accounts.
$22.00 or less
The tax collectable
$22.01 – $333.33
More than $333.33
6.6% of tax collectable, to a maximum of $198.00
Retaining Books and Records
You must keep sufficient books and records to provide details of all the following:
- all sales and leases (taxable and non-taxable)
- all tax collected, remitted and commission taken
- all purchases and leases for inventory and for your own use
- all applicable supporting documentation to show why tax was not collected on taxable goods and services.
You must keep books, records and any documentation relating to your business for five years.
Need more information?
Toll free in Canada: 1.877.388.4440