Province confirms tax measure implementation dates, deferral deadlines for businesses

THE Province announced on Wednesday that it is delaying implementation dates to April 2021 for changes to provincial sales tax (PST) deadlines and B.C.’s carbon tax, to help businesses and families through the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery.

A scheduled increase in April 2020 from $40 to $45 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) had been paused until at least October as part of the COVID-19 Action Plan. Upon review, the B.C. government has decided the carbon tax rate will remain at its current level of $40 per tCO2e until April 2021, when it will increase from $40 to $45 per tCO2e. The carbon tax will increase to $50 per tCO2e in April 2022.

This change will give businesses and families more time to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, while still meeting the required federal carbon-pricing backstop rate of $50 per tCO2e by 2022.

The implementation of two other planned tax changes is also being delayed until April 2021. This includes the elimination of the 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.

To further support businesses, the employer health tax (EHT) 2020 quarterly instalment dates are being extended as follows:

* December 31, 2020 (original instalment date was June 15, 2020)

* January 31, 2021 (original instalment date was September 15, 2020)

* February 28, 2021 (original instalment date was December 15, 2020)

These extensions will give businesses more access to cashflow during recovery and more time to determine their annual payroll and estimate the amount of EHT they will owe. The 2020 EHT filing and balance due date will remain March 31, 2021.

As a reminder for businesses, effective March 23, 2020, as part of B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan, the filing and payment due dates for the following sales taxes were extended to September 30, 2020, along with the 2019 EHT filing and balance due date:

* PST

* hotel tax, also known as municipal and regional district tax

* tobacco tax

* motor fuel tax

* carbon tax

These administrative deferrals are not being extended further. Businesses were never able to spend taxes collected from customers such as PST, but delaying tax remittances removed an administrative burden from potentially short-staffed businesses during the beginning of the pandemic.

Learn More:

Tax information for businesses: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/tax-changes/budget-changes

Information about supports for business:
www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/business/small-business/resources/covid-19-supports (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/business/small-business/resources/covid-19-supports)

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