BC’s HST out, PST in

Most organizations would like to do some planning for the elimination of the HST and the return of the PST in British Columbia.  In order to do this, an understanding of the transitional rules is required.

What we already know is that in the province of British Columbia, at the end of March 2013, the HST will be eliminated and the PST reinstated.

However, what we didn’t know yet are specific details.  Last night, the Province quietly released a 22-page document that provides a general idea of what is probably to come, by listing a variety of scenarios regarding the return of the PST. We say ‘probably’ because these have yet to go before the Legislative Assembly. The Province apparently plans to release a more detailed list…’soon’. The Federal government has not yet provided detailed information regarding phasing out the HST.

Businesses, especially larger ones, need time to plan and prepare. The transition is planned for April 1, 2013.  By the end of October this date will be only 5 months away – not much time if you are a complex operation!

So, once again, the government is making it difficult for businesses to navigate tax law.  Once again, the government makes it easy for us to stay in business – by making tax law so obtuse!  We help businesses figure out where to recover money in the past, and going forward.  We help identify ‘holes’ in systems, which can be significant leaks of money.

That aside, the question most people have is this: Can my business minimize tax prior to the April 1st transition? Absolutely. A general tip is that businesses should make large value purchases prior to the transition. New computer systems, office equipment, software, etc.