New tools help British Columbia businesses prepare for the return of the PST

The transition rules describe how and when PST applies to transactions that straddle April 1, 2013

New tools and information are now available for businesses on the steps they need to take when the Provincial Sales Tax replaces the Harmonized Sales Tax next spring.

A recent provincewide mailing to more than 160,000 businesses and new tax bulletins posted online are among the ways government is helping keep businesses informed in advance of the April 1, 2013, transition date.

Services available to businesses with questions include:

  • One-on-one consultations with a ministry tax specialist – submit a request online.
  • Calling a toll-free number with questions about the new PST (1 877 388-4440).
  • Emailing questions to


A new provincial sales tax notice, General Transitional Rules for the Re-Implementation of the Provincial Sales Tax, has now been issued.

The transition rules describe how and when PST applies to transactions that straddle April 1, 2013.

They should be read in conjunction with federal transitional rules for the elimination of the HST in B.C. The rules outlined in the notice are subject to the approval of the legislature.

Over the coming weeks and months, businesses will be able to participate in online webinars and in-person seminars.

Government has reached out to chambers of commerce and business associations to offer presentations with information businesses will need to prepare for the transition.

Registration for PST will start on Jan. 2, 2013. The government has issued a bulletin, Registering to Collect PST, to help businesses understand whether they need to register.

Links to these bulletins and notices, the online sign-up form for the one-on-one tax consultations and the federal transitional rules, along with additional information about the return to the PST, can be found in the business section of:

A new e-services option, eTaxBC, will also be available for online registration, return filing and payment and account maintenance.

The new online service is one of the improvements that will make administration of the sales tax easier for businesses. This service will be live on Jan. 2, 2013.

As committed, the PST is being re-implemented on April 1, 2013, with all permanent exemptions.

Consumers will pay PST only on those goods and services that were subject to the tax before July 1, 2010.

Consumers will again not pay PST on purchases like food, restaurant meals, bicycles, gym memberships, movie tickets and others, nor for personal services like haircuts.


More information:


  • n
  • – see Transitioning to PST
  • Federal transition rules: