2019 BC Budget

On February 19, 2019, the BC Ministry of Finance released the 2019 Provincial Budget.  The following is a summary of many of the highlights affecting businesses and individuals:

Business Measures

  • Enhanced capital cost allowance rates that parallel the federal enhancements announced on November 21, 2018.
  • Extending the BC Training tax credit for employers to December 31, 2019.

Personal Measures

  • Effective for 2018 and subsequent personal tax returns the disability tax credit can be applied against tax on split income (TOSI) and split income is included in the income threshold for calculating the medical expense tax credit.
  • No modification to the Fair Pharmacare program which introduced lower deductibles available to families earning up to $45,000 per year effective January 1, 2019.
  • Increasing benefits to low-income working families by an average of $800 per year under the Rental Assistance Program.
  • CleanBC initiatives including $2,000 to replace a fossil fuel heating system, $1,000 to upgrade to better insulated windows and doors and $700 to upgrade to a higher efficiency natural gas furnace.
  • Effective February 19, 2019 elimination of interest on new and existing loans obtained through the BC Student Loan Program.
  • Effective April 1, 2019 eligible individuals will receive an additional $50 per month in income and disability assistance.
  • Effective July 1, 2019 the BC climate action tax credit is enhanced. The BC climate action tax credit is a tax-free amount paid quarterly with the GST tax credit to eligible individuals.
  • Extending the BC training tax credit for apprentices to December 31, 2019.
  • No modification to the elimination of MSP premiums paid by individuals effective January 1, 2020.
  • Effective October 1, 2020 a new BC Child Opportunity Benefit will be introduced. This new benefit will be added to the current BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit which is a tax-free monthly payment to eligible families.

Enhancements to the Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit Program:

  • Effective for 2019 and subsequent tax years, for investments made after February 19, 2019, the maximum amount of annual tax credit that an individual can claim is increased to $120,000 from $60,000.
  • Effective February 20, 2019, the maximum equity capital that eligible business corporations can raise under the program is increased to $10 million from $5 million.
  • Effective February 20, 2019, share transfers to a Tax-Free Savings Account are permitted and equity purchases within a Tax-Free Savings Account may qualify for tax credit.
  • Effective February 20, 2019, certain advanced commercialization and scaling up activities are eligible for the tax credit program.
  • Effective March 2, 2019, investments in convertible equity issued by an eligible business corporation may be eligible for tax credits.