The PST transition

Businesses must register for a new PST number before April 1

It has taken some time since the referendum in the summer of 2011 indicated that the will of the people was that the Harmonized Sales Tax be repealed and the Provincial Sales Tax returned, but things are now moving quickly.

The return to the PST/GST tax system is official on April 1, 2013. For the consumer, the only noticeable change will be a few more pennies in the pocket as many items that were taxable under the HST at 12 per cent, will now only be taxed under the five per cent GST. A full list of those items is available at www.PSTinBC.ca

For businesses, it means registering to collect the tax. The registration process began on January 2, 2013 and businesses must register in order to receive a new PST number.

There are three ways to register.

• Online – go to: www.gov.bc.ca/etaxbc/register Online registration should take about 10 to 20 minutes to complete.

• In person – go to the Service BC Centre in Cranbrook.

• By mail or fax – complete the Application for Registration for  Provincial Sales Tax (FIN 418) found at: www.gov.bc.ca/pst (Go to Forms and Publications.) Businesses also can get the form at the nearest Service BC Centre, or by calling 1 877 388-4440 to have one mailed to you. Mail or fax the completed form to the address or fax number shown on the form, along with the appropriate documentation.

A new PST number will be assigned once the business registration application is processed.

Minister of State for Small Business, Naomi Yamamoto is directing the changeover for business.

“This early opportunity to register online is just one of the ways government is working with businesses to help them transition back to the PST. We’re also offering webinars, PST seminars, extended hours for phone assistance and special consultations with tax specialists,” Yamamoto said.