PST is coming back…

On April 1, 2013, the PST (Provincial Sales Tax) will be returning to BC.  A great deal of information is provided on a special website (provided by the Province of BC) dedicated to this transition.

There is also a request form if you would like a consultation with a ministry tax specialist. This can be found here.

Samples from the FAQ section of the website:

When will the PST be re-implemented?

The PST will be reinstated effective April 1, 2013.

Will the PST be re-implemented at 7%?

British Columbia’s provincial sales tax (PST) will be re-implemented effective April 1, 2013 at a general tax rate of seven per cent.

Will all permanent PST exemptions return?

The PST will apply to the same goods and services that were subject to PST prior to the implementation of the HST. All permanent PST exemptions will be re-implemented with the new PST, including:

  • all food for human consumption (e.g. basic groceries and prepared food such as restaurant meals);
  • most services (e.g. personal services such as haircuts, dry cleaning, funeral services);
  • admissions and memberships;
  • bicycles;
  • newspapers and magazines; and
  • all permanent PST exemptions for business.

Will people still receive the B.C. HST credit when the PST is re-implemented?

No. The $230 B.C. HST credit will be replaced with the $75 PST credit when the PST is re-implemented.

For Businesses

When will registration information be available?

In December 2012, letters will be sent out to businesses with information on how to register. If you do not receive a letter, or are unsure if you need to register, please contact us.

When will I be able to register my business for the PST?

Online registration for businesses will commence on January 2, 2013, with the PST implementation effective April 1, 2013.

Do I use my old PST registration number?

No, you will need to apply for a new PST registration number.

What is the format of the new PST registration numbers?

When you register for the new PST you will be assigned a new PST number. The new PST numbers will be 11 characters long in the format: PST-1234-5678

How will I register for collecting PST?


  • E-services website for businesses with a business number
  • for new businesses

In person:

  • Victoria customer service location
  • Service BC locations


  • Fax number will be posted once the information is available.


  • Mailing address will be posted once the information is available.

The Province of BC has posted Small Business Guide to PST. This guide provides a refresher as to how the PST and small businesses work together.

CRA also has information on the transition from HST back to GST/PST including many specific examples:

15. I am an accountant who will be issuing an invoice on or after April 1, 2013 for services to be performed in March 2013. What rate of tax do I charge on these services?

Since the invoice would be issued on or after April 1, 2013, you would charge 5% GST. If you issue the invoice before April 1, 2013, the 12% HST would apply.

16. I am a contractor hired to renovate a kitchen. I finish the renovation work in March 2013, but do not invoice the client until April 16, 2013. What rate of tax would I charge on these services?

Since you would be issuing the invoice on or after April 1, 2013, you would charge 5% GST. If you issue the invoice before April 1, 2013, the 12% HST would apply.

Our advice: if you are a business owner, you may want to plan your purchases to optimize the tax transition period. For example, if you purchase items through a wholesaler, these are PST exempt (you pay only 5% GST). By waiting until April 1, 2013 or later, you save 7% due to the PST exemption. For items purchased from a regular retail source, it would be beneficial to purchase those before April 1, 2013 as you will be able to claim to the full 12% sales tax (HST) as an input tax credit. Items purchased on April 1, 2013 or later would still cost the same total amount, but only the 5% GST would be eligible as an input tax credit.

Please check back for updates related to the return to the PST.