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April Fool's 2013: get ready for BC Provincial Sales Tax

The BC public is getting what it wanted—for better or worse.

Effective April 1, 2013, the PST will come back into force, replacing the BC provincial portion of the HST.

The restaurants are cheering. For other business owners, not so much, because the HST is a far better tax to deal with. Only one registration. Only one payment to remit. Only one return to file. Except in complex situations, a mostly uniform set of goods and services on which the tax applies. The ability to claim input tax credits on purchases.

All of that is out the window on the provincial side.

All BC businesses who must collect the PST—pretty much the old crowd, including, sadly, law firms— must register for PST, starting January 2, 2013. Happy new year.

Learn more about the tax at the BC government website.

They have tweaked the PST somewhat. Remittances will now be payable at month end instead of mid-month.

There are transitional rules (pdf), meaning that some transactions will become subject to PST before April 1, 2013.

The government is making transition advisers available. That's probably a good thing, and will make life easier for some businesses.

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