British Columbia Sales Tax Transition Rules

Canada – Starting April 1, 2013 British Columbia will cease to operate a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

The proposed transitional rules have been issued by the federal Canadian Department of Finance which will facilitate the province’s elimination of the HST system which had blended the 5% federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) with the 7% provincial states tax (PST).

The BC Finance Department has said it will return to the PST as quickly as possible ensuring businesses can plan their training and system’s switch-over effectively to apply the sales tax correctly.

Also, new measures from the provincial government will benefit purchasers and builders of new homes. Under the PST, when a newly constructed home is purchased, whether built entirely under the HST, PST or partly HST and PST, a consistent and equitable amount of tax will be paid by all. The temporary housing transition measures will be in place for two years, until March 31, 2015.

Effective April 1, 2012, the BC new housing rebate threshold will be increased to 850,000 CAD (853,000 USD). More than 90% of newly built homes will now be eligible for the provincial HST rebate for up to 42,500 CAD. The HST does not apply to resale housing. Purchasers of new secondary vacation or recreational homes outside the Greater Vancouver and Capital regional districts priced up to 850,000 CAD will now be eligible to claim a provincial grant of up to 42,500 CAD.