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Changes To Sales Tax In British Columbia

Beginning April 1, 2013, the 12% harmonized sales tax (HST) will no longer apply on property or services made in British Columbia (B.C.), or to property or services imported or brought into B.C. that are not zero-rated supplies. In its place, the 5% goods and services tax (GST) will apply to these products and importations.

What this means for you:

  • You will pay the 5% GST on purchases of taxable goods, intangible property (such as rights), and services, if either of the following applies:
    • the tax becomes payable after March 31, 2013, without having been paid before April 1, 2013; or
    • the tax is paid after March 31, 2013, without having become payable before April 1, 2013.
  • If the tax becomes payable or is paid before April 1, 2013, the 12% HST will apply.
  • All GST/HST registrants will need to update their accounting and point-of-sale systems by April 1, 2013, to accommodate the change in rate.
  • As a result of the return to GST in BC, there will be changes to the rebates for housing, and public service bodies such as charities, qualifying non-profit organizations, etc.
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