The British Columbia Harmonized Sales Tax, called the B.C. HST will come into effect on July 1st, 2010 and will combine or harmonize the provincial sales tax (7% PST) with the federal Goods and Services Tax (5% GST)

Everything you need to know about the new B.C. HST - Harmonized Sales Tax Resources, Articles, Reaction


Visit our Vancouver Condo Blog

Visit our Vancouver Real Estate Blog for the latest news in Lower Mainland housing markets, mortgage rates, builders, developers, re-sale condo high-rise tower residences, resale homes and much more


Cancelled Vancouver Condo Cancellations
Delayed Vancouver Condo Projects on Hold
Vancouver Property Liquidation Auctions

Other Resources

More Property Listings
Vancouver Real Estate Direct Sitemap
Vancouver Listings
Other Resources
In the market for a presale condo?

The BC government will seek to return to a Provincial Sales Tax within 18 months,
meaning the old tax will be restored by March 31, 2013. STAY TUNED FOR MORE INFO.
announced on February 17, 2012 by Finance Minister Kevin Falcon

Here is a comprehensive list of goods and services subject to the BC HST, those that are exempt, point of sale HST rebates and input tax credit issues. In addition, we examine how the new Harmonized Sales Tax or B.C. HST will affect other current taxes on fuel, carbon, property and tobacco.

Number Crunching - HST Price Chart - New Home HST Tax Increase - Harmonized Sales Tax Price Difference on New Property

Bookmark and Share
Story Highlights
A list of goods and services that are subject to the new BC HST, those that are not affected and those that are actually exempt.
How does the BC HST affect other taxes including the Hotel Room Tax, Motor Fuel Tax, Carbon Tax, Tobacco Tax and Property Transfer Tax?

Top 10 Facts about the HST and How The Harmonized Tax Will Raise New Homes Prices in B.C. and Greater Vancouver
New Home HST Tax Increase and the B.C. HST Price Difference for New Property Purchases - CHART
Anti-HST Movement including NO BC HST Facebook Campaign, NDP Petition & Recall Campaign Against Liberal Government
British Columbia HST on Rent? How does harmonized sales tax 12% HST on rental housing and Vancouver rents?
Top 10 Benefits about the HST and the B.C. Government Announcement
Comprehensive List of Goods and Services Subject to New B.C. HST, HST Exempt Products, HST Rebates and Input Tax Credits
The BC Harmonized Sales Tax HST Rebate for New Home Purchases - Actual Number Crunching
The BC HST Transitional Rules and Policies May Follow the Ontario HST Transitional Rules
Reaction From B.C. Home Builders and Vancouver Developers on new BC HST and What It Means to the Construction Industry
Differences between BC HST versus Ontario HST | BC HST versus Maritime HST in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia & New Brunswick
B.C. Harmonized Sales Tax will effect Green Initiatives, Energy Efficient Upgrades, Home Renos and BuiltGREEN products
12% BC HST on New Homes, Presale Condos, Pre-Construction Real Estate, First Time Home Buyers and Ownership

Wondering What Goods and Services are Subject to the New BC HST?
As with any transition between taxes, there is much confusion among the public and consumers as to the new laws and guidelines. Such is the case with the implementation of the B.C. Harmonized Sales Tax or BC HST of 12%, what goods and services are subject to this new tax? And what products that were charged provincial sales tax or PST of 7% will be charged at 12% HST now? Basically speaking, the B.C. Harmonized Sales Tax is the harmonization or combination of the 2 taxes that British Columbians pay currently. However, some goods and services are subject only to PST and some only to GST while others are subject to both taxes. For the new BC HST, everything will be taxed at 12%. Here is a list of BC goods and services that used to be only charged 7% PST, and will now be subject to the entire harmonized sales tax of twelve per cent.

GOODS subject to BC Harmonized Sales Tax
Energy conservation equipment (e.g., insulation, solar power equipment), bicycles, schools supplies (although books will be exempt), smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, work related safety equipment basic cable TV and residential phones, non-prescription medication, vitamins and dietary supplements, residential fules (electricity, natural gas) and heating, all food products (only basic grociers will remain exempt from BC HST), safety helmets, life jackets, first aid kits, magazines and newspapers.

SERVICES subject to the new B.C. HST
Airline fares within Canada, Funeral services, Real estate fees, Membership fees for health clubs, dry cleaning, personal services such as hair care, Movie and theatre tickets, Professional services such as accounting and home care, Repair services for household appliances, and Household maintenance such as renovations and painting.

GOODS and SERVICES that will actually cost LESS!
Liquor at restaurants will actually end up costing less with the integration of the 12% HST in British Columbia. Currently, there is a 15% tax on liquor in BC restaurants (that’s 5% GST and 10% liquor tax). This 15% liquor tax will be replaced with the 12% harmonized sales tax, reducing the taxes by 3%.

GOODS and SERVICES that are exempt from the B.C. Harmonized Sales Tax of 12%
These include fuel including gas, diesel and biofuel in addition to low income families who will receive HST refund cheques quarterly to compensate for the 12% HST. The HST refund cheques to low income families is in addition to the federal GST refund cheques as well as the BC carbon tax credit cheques that they currently receive. Also, children’s items including books, clothing, footwear, car seats, booster seats, diapers and feminine hygiene products are exempt from the 12% BC HST tax.

How Does the B.C. HST interact with other taxes?
Obviously, the implementation of a new harmonized value added tax will have influence on existing taxes throughout British Columbia, so here is more information about how the B.C. Harmonized Sales Tax will influence the current Hotel Room tax, Motor Fuel Tax, Carbon Tax, Tobacco Tax and Property Transfer Tax on real estate. In most cases, the B.C. HST will eliminate the existing taxes, but in a few cases, the harmonized sales tax will add to the existing tax structure.

How does the B.C. HST affect the Hotel Room Tax?
The B.C. Harmonized Sales Tax will apply to all short term accommodations and housing. As of July 1, 2010, the B.C. Hotel Room Tax will be eliminated and replaced by the B.C. HST. The current B.C. Hotel Room Tax is at 8% while the B.C. Harmonized Sales Tax on short term accommodations is at 7%, thereby reducing the effective tax rate by 1%.

How does the BC HST affect Motor Fuel Tax?
As the BC Government has indicated that point of sale rebates on motor fuels and other gas/biofuels will be implemented right away, the provincial portion of the B.C. HST would not apply to motor fuels in the province. This includes all forms of biofuels, aviation fuel, marine diesel, diesel as well as car gasoline.

How does the B.C. Harmonized Sales Tax affect the Carbon Tax?
Like above, the BC Government has indicated that the carbon tax on fuels, diesel and biofuels will not be subject to the new BC HST of 12%. Therefore, the Harmonized Sales Tax will not affect the current Carbon Tax.

How does the B.C. HST affect the Tobacco Tax?
The provincial British Columbia Harmonized Sales Tax HST will be applied on top of the purchase price of tobaccao in the province. The B.C. HST will also be applied on top of the tobacco tax and all tobacco products.

How does the provincial B.C. Harmonized Sales Tax affect Property Transfer Tax?
As the PTT or B.C. property transfer tax is paid based on the fair market value of the B.C. property or real estate home being transferred from the seller to buyer, the BC HST will not be applied to any resale property. In addition, in the case of new homes and new construction property where GST is applied, the GST will not be included for the purposes of determining the fair market value in which the property transfer tax or PTT is calculated.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Surrounding the British Columbia Harmonized Sales Tax
According to the Georgia Straight: The province of BC has made public a small number of goods and services that will be HST exempt. But don’t get your hopes too high, because there are very few HST exempt products and services out there once July 1st hits. The BC HST exempt goods and services will include such things as gasoline, diesel fuel, aviation fuel, marine disel, which will be eligible for point of sale HST rebates. Therefore, airlines and other transportation companies will have to find other excuses for increasing their costs, rates and taxes on the consumer. In addition, some goods and services in British Columbia that were previously PST exempt will now be subject to the new 12% BC harmonized sales tax or HST. These include such things as hair cuts and restaurant meals. From the Vancouver and BC housing industry perspective, these items also may include environmentally friendly construction materials and appliances which are currently PST exempt, but will be subject to the new BC harmonized sales tax of 12%. Overall, most items will be taxed at the higher rate come next summer.

CLICK HERE for a full list of Vancouver Real Estate Developments

2010 Winter Game Rental Resources

Looking for the BEST Rentals?
Looking to rent your home?

2010 Renters Checklist
2010 Renters Guidebook
2010 Homeowners Checklist
2010 Homeowners Guide