British Columbia (“BC”) has recently issued Bulletin PST-132, “Building and Home Improvement Stores” to assist building and home improvement store operators deal with PST. This bulletin includes a listing of exempt sales (e.g., energy conservation materials and equipment, exempt fuels, materials consumed in the production process, certain publications, safety equipment and protective clothing, etc.). It also discusses other exemptions, such as gift cards and exempt sales and leases of goods shipped outside of BC. In addition, the document contains a comprehensive (though not complete) list of examples of taxable sales and taxable leases.
As discussed in Bulletin PST 501, real property contractors must pay PST on taxable goods obtained to fulfil a contract, unless a specific exemption applies.
Related services to taxable goods are generally also taxable, unless specifically exempt. Examples of exempt services include services to cut tiles or plywood (under particular conditions), or services to certain household appliances and goods.
Classes and workshops are generally not subject to PST; however PST would apply to taxable materials or equipment sold to students for use in a training session or workshop. If the materials or equipment are not sold to the participants (e.g., leased), the store must pay PST as the user of these goods.
Purchases for business use including assets, promotional materials and goods from out-of-province suppliers are generally subject to PST. However, goods for resale or lease, bonus items, containers and packaging materials are exempt.
Furthermore, building and home improvement stores that manufacture products, such as doors or cabinetry, may qualify for exemption from PST on the acquisition of qualifying machinery or equipment used to manufacture these products.