News and Insights

British Columbia Backgrounder – Return to PST Progress Update

Tax Development Sep 19, 2012

This recent news release highlights the progress of the British Columbia Ministry of Finance towards the reimplementation of provincial sales tax (PST) in the province. In accordance with its action plan, the British Columbia government remains on track to return to PST on April 1, 2013. However, the regulations and transitional and consequential amendments to support the legislation, introduced on May 14, 2012, have not been released. It is expected that these amendments will be announced in December.

The province is in the process of developing a new e-service called eTaxBC, which will allow businesses to register, file returns, make payments, and gain access to various self-service options online.  E-service registration will be available on January 2, 2013 and training will be provided to businesses on how to use this service.  Similar to the current GST/HST filing requirements, it is expected that businesses with annual revenue in excess of $1.5 million, from Canadian sales and leases, will be required to file and pay tax electronically.  Businesses falling under this revenue threshold may choose to file paper returns.

Upgrades to the government’s main website at are expected to be made in the fall.  These changes will improve access to information and services.  In addition, British Columbia is currently looking to fill a number of tax administration positions to assist with the transition back to the PST. 

Business outreach events are scheduled to begin in October.  During these sessions, further information will be provided to businesses about the PST reimplementation timeline, the registration process, and the new eTaxBC services.  Information on the general application of PST will be provided during these sessions, with more detailed information provided once the regulations and legislative amendments are released.

For more information, please see the link below to the backgrounder: 

BC Backgrounder Sept 13, 2012