The Return to Provincial Sales Tax in British Columbia


It seems not so long ago that we were preparing and planning for the change from our old system of provincial sales tax (PST) to a more efficient and streamlined system of harmonized sales tax in British Columbia. It was in fact just two short years ago. However, it was a change that was not welcomed by all. Indeed just over one year after the implementation of the HST, approximately 55% of the provincial citizenry who voted in the referendum chose to scrap the HST in favour of a return to the PST.

In May of this year, the provincial government introduced legislation to effect the necessary regulatory change and to provide businesses and consumers alike with the necessary opportunity to prepare for the transition to the revised rules. The date of implementation for the new legislation will be April 1, 2013 and it is a good time to start thinking about how the move from HST may affect long term agreements or anticipated importations which may either straddle that date. By considering the impact of the change in taxing regime, it may be possible to avoid increased and unnecessary costs.

About Catherine A. Hofmann

Catherine is a partner at Bernard LLP and acts for both private and public companies in a wide range of industry sectors including marine, transportation, vessel construction, manufacturing, and forestry.  Her practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, debt and equity financing, organization of new and existing business ventures, including shareholder agreements, partnerships, joint ventures and corporate reorganizations.  Catherine also… view full profile »