Provincial Sales Tax in BC

Provincial Sales Tax Rates in BC
PST Filing is Now Online at eTaxBC ...

by L. Kenway BComm CPB Retired

PST rates in BC returned to pre-July 1, 2010 rates with some tinkering from modernizing the tax administration system.

One important change is that PST is no longer just one set rate. It rate now varies between 7% and 12%.

In this chat, I'm presenting the PST tax rates that became effective on April 1, 2013 along with:

  • what's taxable and what's not reference list to download that includes the applicable GST & PST rates;
  • a summary with links to all the announcements;
  • travel and transportation; and
  • an overview of the transitional rules.

I've presented many things in table format to make it easier for you (and me) to reference.

PST Invoicing Requirements

If you are wondering what the invoicing requirements are regarding the PST rates, remember your invoice MUST list the PST and GST seperately. It cannot be combined into one rate.

PST agreements, receipt, invoice requirements are:

See Part 7 Tax Collection; Division 5 Receipts; sections 84 through 87 for more detailed PST invoice requirements.

If you are looking for a list sales tax rates (PST, GST and HST) for other provinces / territories in Canada, click here for a summary table.

If you are looking for information on shipping out of province, tax has an excellent article on this.

A Guide To BC PST
Click on any image below to go to the chat.

BC PST basics.

Part One


Exemption Certificate Links,   PST Forms Released

BC PST rates and invoice requirements.

Part Two

 Invoice Requirements, Bulletin & Notice Index, Reporting Transition Tax

 PST Rates (vary 7%-12%) 

BC PST News Bulletins and Notices

Part Three

Executive Summaries of PST Notices & Bulletins

QuickBooks PST+ GST Setup

How to setup PST + GST in BC.

QuickBooks created video instructions on how to setup your sales tax codes for PST + GST that came into effect April 1, 2013.  Watch their setup video here. 2013 version R6 and on are preconfigured for BC sales tax.


2013 BC PST Rates
Effective April 1, 2013

Items PST Rates Reference
Goods & Related Services; including software 7% PST Bulletin 301; Notice 2012-010
Legal & Telecommunication Services 7% PST Bulletin 107; Notice 2012-010&018
Alcohol 10% PST Notice 2012-009,010,017
previously Hotel Room Tax (HRT)
8% PST Notice 010
Passenger Vehicles Less Than $55,000 7%PST Bulletin 308; Notice 2012-012 & 2013-002&004
Passenger Vehicles $55,000-$55,999 8%PST Bulletin 308; Notice 2012-012 & 2013-002&004
Passenger Vehicles $56,000-$56,999 9%PST Bulletin 308; Notice 2012-012 & 2013-002&004
Passenger Vehicles $57,000 plus 10%PST Bulletin 308; Notice 2012-012 & 2013-002&004
Other motor vehicles and trailers 7% PST Bulletin 308; Notice 2012-010 & 2013-002&004
Vehicle, boats and aircraft acquired from private individuals or non GST registrants (purchased or received as a gift) 12% PST Bulletin 308; Notice 2012-010 & 2013-002&004
Leases (including motor vehicles leases) inside B.C. 7% PST Notice 2012-010 & 2013-002
Leases outside of BC (including motor vehicles leases) that are registered for use in BC 7% PST Notice 2012-010 & 2013-002
Certain manufactured mobile homes 7% of 50% of purchase price PST Notice 2012-011 & Bulletin PST 133
Certain manufactured modular homes 7% of 50% of purchase price PST Notice 2012-011 & Bulletin PST 133
Public transportation networks exempt PST Notice 2012-011
Items Other Tax Rates Reference
Passenger Vehicle Rental Tax (PVRT) $1.50 / day for more than 8 hours and less than 28 consecutive days PST Notice 2012-010 & 012
Multijurisdictional Vehicle Tax (MJVT) Applies to inter-jurisdictional commercial carriers. It will be re-implemented but rate has not been announced yet PST Notice 2012-010 & Bulletin 135
Innovative Clean Energy Fund (ICE) 0.4% on energy products excluding electricity PST Notice 2012-010 & Notice 2013-006
Propane purchasers 2.7 cents per litre PST Notice 2012-015


Your Really Should Download This

Here's a pdf listing of what is taxable and what's not and keep it as a handy reference to refer to while updating your price lists and tax tables in your accounting software and cash registers.

It breaks down taxable items along with the applicable HST, GST and PST rates into three time periods:

  • PST & GST before July 1, 2010
  • During HST
  • PST & GST after March 31, 2013

Effective April 1, 2013, you will have to show two tax rates again ... the PST and GST. You cannot merge them into one amount.

This also means you will have to file two sales tax returns instead of one. The PST reports will now be due at the same time as the GST reports which is a bonus.

Unlike HST which only taxes at the consumer/retail level, PST is levied on production as well as consumption ... which means consumers pay tax upon tax upon tax ... however many stages it takes to get the product to market. These "hidden" taxes are passed onto the consumer in the sale price.


Summary of Announcements
click on link for more information

Click here for links to Certificates of Exemption by Industry AND PST forms that have been released.

GST/HST Notice Title
Dept of Finance Canada Proposed Transitional Rules
GST/HST Notice 270 Elimination of the HST in BC in 2013 - Q&A
GST/HST Notice 272 HST - Proposed Enhancements to the BC New Housing Rebates & New Residential Rental Property Rebates
GST/HST Notice 276 (Revised May 2013) Elimination of the HST in BC in 2013 - Transitional Rules for Real Property Including New Housing
BC HST Notice 12 Enhanced New Housing Rebated & Transitional Rules for the Re-implementation of the BC PST
BC HST Notice 13 Grant for Purchasers of New Residential Housing Used as a Secondary or Recreational Property
Information Bulletin 2012FIN0044-001561 New tools help BC Business prepare for PST return
Information Bulletin 2012FIN0052-001835 Free PST Webinar For BC Businesses
Information Bulletin 2012FIN0042-001368 Summary of Interim Recommendations by Expert Panel
GST/HST Info Sheet GI-132 Elimination of the HST in BC: Builder Information Requirements for the Transition Period
GST/HST Info Sheet GI-156 Elimination of the HST in BC: Transition Tax on New Housing
GST/HST Info Sheet GI-157 Elimination of the HST in BC: Transition Rebate for Builders of New Housing

PST Bulletins in the 100 series are industry specific; 200 series relate to exemptions; 300 series relate to applications of tax. 

MFT = Motor Fuel Tax Act

BC PST Bulletin / Legislation & Regulations Title
Draft New Tax Act Bill 2 - PST Transitional Provisions and Amendments Act 2013
New Tax Act Unofficial Consolidation
Old Tax Act SST Act
Permanent List PST Exemptions
Tax List What's Taxable and What's Not
Final Report Recommendations by Expert Panel
Bulletin PST 001 Registering to Collect PST (includes who has to register, how to register)
Bulletin PST 002 Charging, Collecting, Reporting & Remitting PST - REVISED
Bulletin PST 003 Small Sellers
Bulletin PST 004 Direct Sellers and Independent Sales Contractors
Bulletin PST 005 Buying and Selling a Business
Bulletin PST 100 Safety Equipment and Protective Clothing
Bulletin PST 101 Farmers
Bulletin PST 102 Commercial Fishers
Bulletin PST 103 Aquaculturists
Bulletin PST 104 Real Property Contractors
Bulletin PST 105 previously PST Notice 2012-024 Software - defines an electronic device; deals with self assessment of PST on SaaS
Bulletin PST 106 previously PST Notice 2012-014 Legal Services
Bulletin PST 107 previously PST Notice 2012-018 Telecommunication Services - DIGITAL downloads and viewing such as eBooks, webinars, iTunes and Netflix are discussed
Bulletin PST 110 Production Machinery and Equipment Exemption
Bulletin PST 133 Manufactured Buildings
Bulletin PST 135 Multijurisdictional Vehicles
Bulletin PST 201 Safety Equipment and Protective Clothing Children's Clothing and Footwear
Bulletin PST 202 School Supplies
Bulletin PST 203 Energy and Energy Conservation
Bulletin PST 204 Bicycles and Tricycles
Bulletin PST 205 Books, Magazines, Newspapers and Other Publications
Bulletin PST 206 Grocery and Drug Stores
Bulletin PST 207 Medical Supplies and Equipment
Bulletin PST 300 Special Occassion Liquor Licences
Bulletin PST 301 previously PST Notice 2012-016 Related Services - services provided to tangible personal property (goods)
Bulletin PST 302 Delivery Charges & Damaged Goods in Transit
Bulletin PST 304 Thrift Stores, Service Clubs, Charitable Organizations and Socities
Bulletin PST 308 Vehicles
Bulletin MFT-CT001 Fuel Sellers
Bulletin MFT-CT002 Status Indians and Indian Bands, and Exempt Fuel Retailer Program

BC PST Notice Title
PST Notice 2012-009 Liquor Vendors - see also Notice 017
PST Notice 2012-010 General Transitional Rules for the Re-implemenation of the PST; includes PST rates
PST Notice 2012-011 Purchases of Tangible Personal Property (Goods) in BC; includes PST rates
PST Notice 2012-012 Leases of Tangible Personal Property (Goods); includes PST rates
PST Notice 2012-013 Tangible Personal Property (Goods) Brought Into BC
PST Notice 2012-014 replaced with Bulletin PST 106 Legal Services
PST Notice 2012-015 Replaced with Notice 2013-015 and Bulletin MFT 014 Propane Purchasers and Sellers - see also Form FIN 156 Motor Fuel Tax Return, Propane Inventory, April 1, 2013
PST Notice 2012-016 replaced with Bulletin PST 301 Related Services - services provided to tangible personal property (goods)
PST Notice 2012-017 Restaurant Industry - see also Notice 009
PST Notice 2012-018 replaced with Bulletin PST 107 Telecommunication Services - DIGITAL downloads and viewing such as eBooks, webinars, iTunes and Netflix are discussed
PST Notice 2012-019 & 2012-021 Replaced with Notice 2013-016 Inventory Reporting Requirements for Tobacco Retail and Wholesale Dealers - see also Form FIN 227 Wholesale Dealers Inventory Return on April 1, 2013
PST Notice 2012-022 & 2012-023 replaced with PST and MRDT Guide for Accommodation Providers Accommodations and MRDT
PST Notice 2012-024 replaced with Bulletin PST 105 Software - defines an electronic device
PST Notice 2013-002 Vehicles
PST Notice 2013-003 Real Property Contractors
PST Notice 2013-004 Vehicle Exemptions and Refunds
PST Notice 2013-005 Notie to Vehicle Leasing Companies - Transitional Rules for Leases of Vehicles
PST Notice 2013-006 Sellers of Energy Products
PST Notice 2013-007 Fuel Sellers and Purchasers
PST Notice 2013-010 Boat and Aircrafts


There used to be a great article  called "Running Your Home" on the or It seems to have gone by the wayside since PST was reimplemented in BC. It was the best source I'd found to determine what is taxable regarding travel, transportation and/or parking issues ... although PST Notice 2012-011 does discuss the issue.

For example, there is no HST on public transportation which includes BC Transit, Translink buses, Skytrain or Seabus. Public transportation will be exempt for PST purposes.

Another example is parking. It does not attract PST but it did attract HST and does attract GST now that we have returned to PST + GST. For those in the metro Vancouver, there is a Translink parking tax but this is not the same as federal or provincial sales tax.

Taxis are also PST exempt so only GST applies.

For hotel rooms, see the following table for the effect of reimplementing PST. It should be noted that the hotel room tax is no longer a separate tax. It has now been incorporated into the PST Act.

There is also a 3% (2% prior to 2015) municipal / regional district HRT (hotel room tax) in some communities. It is accounted for and reported separately from your PST accommodation tax.

Before July 1, 2010 After June 30, 2010 After March 31, 2013
5% GST + 8% HRT12% HST5% GST + 8% PST

For airfares PST rates, see the following table for the effect of reimplementing PST vs HST:

From BC To: Before July 1, 2010 After June 30, 2010 After March 31, 2013
Anywhere in Canada5%12%5%
Continental USA5%5%5%

Your BASIC cable and residential phone line will be PST exempt ... but speciality channels or long distance calls are not.

Insurance premiums, strata fees, rent, mortgage payments, purchase of previously occupied residential housing are all PST exempt.


Transitional Rules Overview
You'll Need This For Backwork

PST is not broken into place of supply categories like HST. PST is not as broad based as HST and is assessed by industry as that is how a PST/RST tax works.

Let's review the HST categories which are broken into four general place of supply categories to help make the transition back to PST:

  1. Tangible personal property (TPP) - goods you can physically touch and bought for personal or commercial use.
  2. Real property - real estate such as land, buildings of a permanent nature, and any interest in real property; also includes previously occupied homes.
  3. Services - labor excluding any physical goods; related services - services provided to install goods, or maintain and repair goods.
  4. Intangible personal property (IPP) - items that you cannot physically touch like trademarks, licenses, copyrights, industrial designs, rights to use a patent, intellectual property, digitized products downloaded from the Internet. (See PST treatment of software below.)

The PST notices released to date do not seem to deal directly with Internet purchases (i.e. IPP) other than software programs (see Notice 2012-024). Notice 2012-018  on telecommunication services does mention that electronic books excluding audio books and live online/streaming webinars will be PST exempt.

Software is being defined by the BC government as "a software program that is delivered or accessed by any means, or the right, whether exercised or not, to use a software program that is delivered or accessed by any means".

Before Apr 1, 2013 After Mar 31, 2013
Purchase of tangible goodsHSTPST + GST
Lease of goods due (Excludes real property)HSTPST + GST
Goods brought into BC from inside CanadaHSTPST + GST
Goods brought into BC from outside CanadaHSTPST under Customs Act Canada + GST
Real property* transfer of ownership or possessionHSTNo PST;
GST only
Lease / rent of real property dueHSTNo PST;
GST only
Goods used in improvements to real propertyHSTPST + GST
Services provided in BC paid or due HSTPST + GST
Services provided in NPP to BC paid or due HSTPST + GST
Software programs shipped by land or delivered onlineHSTPST + GST

*An exception is builders and contractors of residential properties. Some transitional rules began April 1, 2012. A 2% BC transition tax may apply. See BC HST Notice 12.

The 2% BC transition tax applies to new housing when all of the following apply:

  • HST has not been paid on purchase price of new housing
  • Ownership and possession transfers after March 31, 2013 AND before April 1, 2015
  • At least 10% of property constructed before April 1, 2013

The BC transitional tax is payable by the purchaser.

Used residential housing is not affected by this transition. Only new homes or substantially renovated homes are affected by the transition.

I THINK (as in not sure) this is what the new rules are saying ...

After Mar 31, 2013 Before Apr 1, 2013 2% BC
Transition Tax
BC HST Rebate Applies?
Ownership and possession no PST; GST only HST no yes
Ownership / agreement dated before April 1, 2013 not possession on presold and new residential property HST paid no yes
Ownership / agreement dated before April 1, 2015 on presold and new residential property no PST; GST only HST not paid yes if 10% or more completed by April 1, 2013 no
Ownership / agreement dated after April 1, 2015 on presold and new residential property no PST; GST only
Builder retains ownership and rents property no PST; GST only HST paid yes yes

The BC New Home tax calculator embeds the 2% BC Transitional Tax rules into the purchase price before it calculates GST/HST & PTT.

You report the transitional tax (and rebate) on Schedule A of Form GST34.

I hope you find my PST rates summary table along with the other summaries a useful resource.

It's been great chatting with about bookkeeping today.

It's been great chatting with you .
Your tutor Lake

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