News and Insights

British Columbia Bulletin CTB 007, “Exemption for Members of Diplomatic and Consular Corps”

Tax Development Feb 23, 2011

British Columbia has issued a new bulletin providing guidance to members of diplomatic and consular corps on obtaining exemptions for a number of provincially imposed taxes.  These exemptions apply to motor fuel tax, carbon tax, tobacco tax, tax on designated property, and municipal and regional district tax.  In many cases, a point-of-sale exemption may be provided when certain conditions are met.   

Members of diplomatic and consular corps that fall into one of the categories below may make exempt purchases on behalf of the consulate office:  

  • a career consular officer of a post situated in British Columbia who is a citizen of the country operating the consular post;
  • a diplomatic agent of a diplomatic mission situated in Canada who is a citizen of the country operating the diplomatic mission;
  • a UN official who has been granted diplomatic privileges by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) who is not a landed immigrant or Canadian citizen;
  • a consular employee of a consular post situated in British Columbia who is a citizen of the country operating the consular post; or
  • the spouse of a person referred to above who is not a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant.  

Identity cards issued by DFAIT will indicate whether the member is entitled to a tax exemption in British Columbia (or any other province).  

In order to obtain a point-of-sale exemption, qualifying members must show their identity cards to the supplier, and in some cases, take certain other measures.  For example, to obtain a point-of-sale exemption from a fuel seller, a consular post may apply to a fuel seller for credit cards to be issued in the name of each qualifying member.  The motor fuel tax and carbon tax would then be excluded from the credit card billings to those members’ accounts.  No point-of-sale exemptions will be provided by the fuel seller to a qualifying member who makes payment in cash or with a credit card issued by a financial institution.  

Where the point-of-sale exemption is not provided to a qualifying member, the appropriate refund application should be completed by the qualifying diplomat or consular member, and filed with the Ministry of Finance within four years of the day the tax was paid.     

BC CTB 007