Taxes and Tax Refunds2019-01-15T14:25:46+00:00

Consumer Taxes in British Columbia

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) – a 5% federal tax on goods and services.
  • Provincial Sales Tax (PST) – a 7% provincial tax on goods and services. Some Exemptions apply.
  • Hotel Room Tax (HRT) – a 4.15% provincial tax on short-term accommodation.

More information about the various Consumer Tax programs in British Columbia.

Past Taxes in British Columbia

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) was a 12% federal tax – applicable to most goods and services purchased in British Columbia – that was introduced by the BC government on 1 July, 2010 to replace the 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) and 7% Provincial Sales Tax (PST). Prior to the provincial election in May 2010, the government deliberately mislead the electorate by confirming in their campaign that HST would not be introduced. The backlash was swift when HST was introduced immediately after the election. A binding referendum was forced in July 2011 and 55% of BC residents voted to repeal HST based solely on the fact that the BC Liberal government had lied about their intentions. GST and PST were reinstated on 1 April, 2013.

Past Refund of Tax for Travellers to Canada

In the past, non-residents of Canada were able to apply for a rebate of the GST paid on certain purchases made in Canada. However, the Government of Canada eliminated this GST/HST Visitor Rebate Program with effect from 1 April 2007.