Effective October 1, 2018, new rules will be in place for short term accommodation providers in British Columbia.
As of that date, unless an owner is listing their property on an online accommodation platform such as Air BNB, or they have an exempt property, they must be registered for Provincial Sales Tax (PST), and if applicable, Municipal Regional and District Tax (MRDT).
The rate of tax for PST is 8%, and the MRDT can be up to 3%. If the provider is registered on an online accommodation platform, the platform will start collecting the taxes for them.
In the past, there were exemptions available if a provider had less than 4 units of housing available. This exemption will be removed when the new rules come into place.
It will be replaced by an exemption from registration for providers who have revenue of less than $2,500 in the last 12 months, can reasonably expect to have revenue of less than $2,500 in the next 12 months, and are not registered on an online accommodation platform.
Long term accommodations are still exempt under the new rules. However, there has been a reduction in the number of days needed to qualify for this exemption.
Previously a unit had to be rented for a month to be considered long term accommodation. Under the new guidelines, the rental property only has to be rented for 27 days to qualify.
Online classified listings and listing services that do not collect tax on behalf of the owner are not online accommodation platforms for the purposes of the new regulations.
Providers may also need to charge Goods and Services Tax on their accommodations. There have been no changes to these regulations.