Two planned tax changes that were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic will go into effect on April 1, 2021.
The tax changes include the elimination of the provincial sales tax (PST) exemption for carbonated beverages that contain sugar, natural sweeteners or artificial sweeteners, and the addition of new PST registration and collection requirements for e-commerce businesses located outside B.C.
Starting April 1, B.C. will begin charging PST on sweetened carbonated beverages, a move that is supported by health professionals due to the health costs and impacts of sweetened drinks. The PST will apply to all beverages that are dispensed through soda fountains, soda guns or similar equipment, along with all beverages dispensed through vending machines.
All sellers of digital software and telecommunication services will be required to collect PST on sales to B.C. customers if they have B.C. revenues of more than $10,000. As part of these new requirements, beginning April 1, all Canadian sellers of vapour products will be required to register to collect PST on all online or mail-order sales to B.C. customers.
As B.C. businesses work to transition to a post COVID-19 economy, government will open applications for two tax benefits to support businesses. These tax benefits include a temporary PST rebate on select machinery and equipment, and a refundable tax credit for employers, which encourages the creation of new jobs for B.C. workers or increases in payroll for existing low- or medium-income employees.
Applications will open in the coming weeks.