News and Insights

British Columbia Issues Two New Bulletins and an Update

Tax Development Aug 19, 2013

British Columbia (BC) has issued new bulletins for PST Exemptions and Documentation Requirements (PST 200) and PST Refunds (PST 400), as well as a revised bulletin relating to Multijurisdictional Vehicles (PST 135).

Bulletin PST 200, “PST Exemptions and Documentation Requirements 

This document provides a complete overview of the provincial sales tax (PST) exemptions in an easy-to-read table format, including documentation requirements and convenient cross-references to related bulletins. These exemptions are clearly listed for categories such as tangible personal property (TPP), services, software, production machinery and equipment, affixed machinery and improvements to real property, and leases.

Furthermore, it provides details on the documentation required by collectors in order to grant PST exemptions. When documentation is not required, the collector must keep records to prove the buyer qualified for the exemption, by meeting all applicable criteria. In circumstances where documentation is required, the collector must either obtain the customer’s PST number (which must be recorded on the invoice, bill or receipt) or an exemption certificate, at or before the time of sale or lease.

Bulletin PST 400, “PST Refunds

This new bulletin provides general information on PST refunds. Under certain conditions, BC now allows collectors to directly refund or credit their customers. In other situations, the refund must be claimed directly from the Ministry.

As a collector, you may refund your customers if:

  • the customer did not provide adequate documentation at the time of sale (within 180 days of the date the PST was paid);
  • the customer was not required to pay PST;
  • there was a refund or credit of the purchase or lease price; or
  • the customer returned a motor vehicle within one year of purchase.

If the scenario does not fall into one of the above (and it is within four years of the date the PST was remitted or paid), the purchaser may apply for a refund directly from the Ministry by filing the relevant application form. If a refund claim is disallowed or reduced by the Ministry, a process to appeal is available.

Bulletin PST 135, “Multijurisdictional Vehicles” 

This 13-page revised bulletin now provides more comprehensive information on how the multijurisdictional vehicle tax (MJV tax) applies to multijurisdictional vehicles (MJVs) and replacement parts.  The revisions include detailed sections on definitions, tax rates, and the application of PST to purchases and leases.