Welcome Back, PST

Trent Ernst, Editor

Last week the provincial government introduced Bill 2, bringing them one step closer to the return of the PST on April 1.

The HST was a debacle that launched a province-wide referendum and played a major role in Gordon Cambell’s departure.

The new disharmonic tax will come in at seven percent. Added to the current five percent GST, British Columbians will be paying 12 percent in taxes. The PST will generally apply to the same goods and services that were subject to PST before the government moved to a harmonized sales tax.

However, there are some changes. The new legislation has new provisions related to gifts of vehicles, boats and aircraft to ensure these gifts are treated consistently with other vehicle purchases. The old legislation and regulations were originally introduced over 60 years ago, in 1948 and were “outdated not comprehensive which resulted in confusion and frustration for businesses and taxpayers,” according to the government website, at www.pstinbc.ca.

More than 100,000 businesses across the province will need to register to make the transition. Registration for the tax has been open since the beginning of the year. According to the government, about 30,000 of those are new businesses that have only existed under the HST tax system.These businesses will need to learn how to administrate the newly divided taxes.

General Transitional Rules for the Re-Implementation of the Provincial Sales Tax have been issued. The transition rules describe how and when PST applies to transactions that straddle April 1, 2013, and, says the website, “should be read in conjunction with federal transitional rules for the elimination of the HST in BC.”

As part of the process, the provincial government will have to repay more than one billion dollars to the federal government. All told, it is expected to cost more than three billion to reinstate the PST.