Return to PST – update

The Provincial Sales Tax (PST) is returning to British Columbia on April 1, 2013 and it isn’t exactly the same as when it left us.

If you sell taxable products or services, you will need to register before April 1, 2013.   If you rent four rooms or more, sell liquor, if you’re a contractor who bills materials separately you will most likely have to register.

PST will have to be remitted by the end of the month after it is collected, but this time around there are lots of electronic ways to make the payments.

If you have something that spans the March 31, 2013 time frame, there may be some transitional rules that apply.  If you are in that situation, seek professional help.

The new Provincial Sales Act defines what a sale is.  If you’re not sure, ask, or check out the definition.

Important to note that if you have an audit and need to appeal, you ONLY have 90 days to do so.  When you appeal, ALL the facts must be included.  That is important to note because if you miss that deadline, there are no second chances.  And many items can be solved at the audit stage, so try and avoid the need for an appeal.  In short, if you have an audit, hire a professional.

Another unpleasant surprise in this upcoming Act is s.231 – Onus of proof.  This section dictates that you are guilty until proven innocent.

If you lose an audit and decide to appeal, there is no provision to stop collection action even if you are in appeal.  So you have to pay what the auditor says, even if you disagree with it.  Moreover, it is not just a director who is liable, but there may also be assessments against board members and deemed board members.  Does this make you think twice about volunteering for a worthy cause?  Before you do, check their directors and officers insurance.  If it doesn’t cover penalties then it may not cover you in the event of an audit that results in those penalties.

There is a lot more and we strongly encourage you to talk with your CGA professional before March 31, 2013.

The BC Government has lots of information on some of the requirements and there are links below to read some of the information:

General Transitional Rules

What’s taxable under PST