PST in B.C. is being reactivated on April 1, 2013.
What is PST?
PST is a retail sales tax that is payable when a taxable good or service is acquired for personal use or business use, unless a specific exemption applies.
This means that the person who purchases or uses the taxable good (new and used) or service in British Columbia pays the PST.
2. Do You Need To Register As A Vendor?
You need to register to collect PST if you sell or lease taxable goods, or provide software or taxable services in the ordinary course of business in B.C. You may also need to register if you’re located outside the province but make sales in B.C.
Who must register?
British Columbia Businesses
You are required to register as a vendor with the Consumer Taxation Branch if you engage in any of the following business activities in British Columbia.
- sell taxable goods like alcoholic beverages, motor vehicles, boats, building materials, household or office furniture
- lease taxable goods like motor vehicles, tools and equipment, aircraft and art work
- provide services to taxable goods like: repairing or maintaining automobiles, knives, watches, TVs applying protective treatments like fabric protection
- sell software
- provide legal services or telecommunication services
- provide four or more units of accommodation
Generally, if an item is taxable when purchased, services provided to that item are also taxable.
4. Who is not Required to Register?
Persons who do not make regular taxable sales or leases do not need to register as vendors. These include the following:
- you sell only non-taxable or exempt goods like food for human consumption, bicycles or children’s clothing
- you provide only non-taxable or exempt services like transportation or dry cleaning services
- you're a wholesaler
5. What is Taxable?
General goods (tangible personal property)
PST applies to retail sales or leases of tangible personal property (TPP) in British Columbia, unless there is a specific exemption.
TPP is personal property that you can see, weigh, measure, feel or touch, or that is in any other way perceptible to the senses. TPP includes natural or manufactured gas, software, heat, electricity and fixtures, but does not include prescribed fixtures.
Prescribed fixtures include machinery and equipment installed in a building or structure for heating, air conditioning, lighting, sewage disposal, and elevators or escalators to move people or freight.
Here are some examples of taxable goods:
- alcoholic beverages
- art and art supplies
- building materials
- computers, software and software updates
- cosmetics and grooming aids
- furniture and appliances
- motor vehicles and automotive parts
- natural gas, heat and electricity for business use
- Taxable services
PST applies to specified labour services, referred to as taxable services. A taxable service is any service provided to install, assemble, dismantle, repair, adjust, restore, re-condition, refinish or maintain TPP.
Generally, if an item is taxable when purchased, services provided to that item are taxable.
Here are some examples of taxable services:
- automobile maintenance, repairs, painting and car polishing
- camera repairs
- engine tune-ups
- furniture repair, re-upholstery and refinishing
- maintenance of plants planted in portable containers
- protective treatments applied to maintain taxable goods, such as fabric protection, rustproofing and painting
- repairs to business equipment, such as cash registers, photocopiers and fax machines
- setting up temporary display counters, shelves, booths and similar items at trade fairs and conventions
- television, stereo and computer repairs
- watch repair and maintenance
6. What benefits do I get for registering and collecting PST?
When you register as a vendor, you get a commission for collecting and remitting PST on behalf of the province. The commission is based on the amount of tax you collect during the reporting period, to a maximum of $198.
Charging and Collecting PST
You must show PST separately on all invoices except on sales of alcohol, which may be sold at tax-included prices. You calculate the PST to the nearest cent, with one half cent rounded up to one cent.
8. What is the PST rate?
|Goods and services||7%|
|Less than $55,000||7%|
|$55,000 to less than $56,000||8%|
|$56,000 to less than $57,000||9%|
|$57,000 or more||10%|
How do I get registered?
You have two options when registering for a PST number:
Option # 1
You can visit your local Consumer Taxation Branch or Government Agents office and complete the registration form. Please make sure that you fully understand the questions on the registration form and answer them correctly. It is quite difficult to change certain information once it is recorded. Also, be prepared for delays due to the workload.
Option # 2
We can easily assist you with registration and you can submit your information online.
If you are wondering why you should let us help you with registration, the answer is simple.
- You do not have to take any time from your busy schedule to do the registration.
- If you are located in a small town, there is no need to travel, just order online.
- We have the expertise to complete the registration in the way that best suits your needs.
- We work for you, not the government.
- For a small fee of $39.95 we will do all the necessary work for you.
It is up to you to decide to do the work the easy way or the hard way. In any case, we are always available to answer your questions. Feel free to contact us by e-mail or by telephone at the numbers listed below.