British Columbia, Canada Sales Tax Calculator and Details
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Simply enter an amount into our calculator above to estimate how much sales tax you'll likely see in British Columbia, Canada. Afterwards, hit calculate and projected results will then be shown right down here.
To see more detailed info and gain additional insight, continue reading below!
GST + PST Rate
Table of Contents
The cumulative sales tax rate for 2023 in British Columbia, Canada is 12%. This total rate is a combination of a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 5% and a Provincial Sales Tax (PST) of 7%.
Sales Tax Breakdown For British Columbia, Canada
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In some cases provincial sales tax (PST) doesn't need to be paid on purchases or leases. The following exemptions are some of the most common ones that are available to everyone and don't require any documentation:
- Food for human consumption (for example, basic groceries and prepared food such as restaurant meals)
- Books, newspapers, and magazines
- Children sized clothing
- Prescription medications and household medical aids such as cough syrup and pain medications
Other exemptions are available in certain circumstances and may require documentation. Some common categories in this scenario include:
- health and medical products, and equipment for persons with disabilities
- adult sized clothing and footwear for kids under 15 years of age
- school supplies for students
- safety equipment and protective clothing
- farming, fertilizers, fishing, and aquaculture
- purchases by First Nations individuals and bands on reserve land
- goods purchased for resale or lease
Providing exemptions as a business
As a business, when you provide an exemption to a customer you may need to request information or documentation. More information about what exemptions require information or documentation can be found at the official British Columbia government website we have linked below.
It is the customer's responsibility to ensure they qualify for an exemption. If the customer claims an exemption that they don't qualify for, they are liable for any tax, interest and penalties associated with the purchase or lease. However, if you had reason to believe your customer wasn't entitled to the exemption and provided the exemption, you may also be subject to an assessment.
If your customer isn't able to provide the required information or documentation at or before the time of the sale or lease, you must charge and collect, and your customer must pay, PST on that sale or lease. However, if your customer is able to provide the required information or documentation within 180 days of the purchase or lease, your business may refund or credit the PST charged.
When you provide an exemption to a customer you must keep specific information in your records to show why you didn't charge PST. If you don't do this, you can be assessed for the tax that should have been collected, plus penalties and interest.
Frequently asked questions about PST in British Columbia
Am I required to pay PST on goods I purchase for business use, such as office equipment, furniture, supplies, and tools?
Yes, you must pay PST on all goods you acquire for business or personal use, unless a specific exemption applies (for example, goods purchased for resale). Generally, you pay PST when you purchase or lease taxable goods from your supplier. If your supplier does not charge you PST, you must self assess the PST due. Unlike the GST/HST, there are no PST input tax credits provided for goods purchased by a business.
I am a contractor involved in the construction industry. Do I charge PST on my services?
It depends if you are a real property contractor. You are a real property contractor if you supply and affix, or install, goods so that they become part of real property. Generally, if you are a real property contractor, you must pay PST on taxable goods you obtain to fulfill a contract, unless a specific exemption applies. You do not charge your customers PST. If you are not a real property contractor, you charge your customer PST on all taxable goods and services. You do not pay PST on those goods you purchase solely for resale.
Am I required to charge PST to tourists and other customers that live outside British Columbia?
Yes, you must charge PST on all taxable goods and services you sell in British Columbia, unless a specific exemption applies. There are no general exemptions that apply if you sell goods or services in British Columbia to customers that live outside British Columbia (for example, tourists). However, you generally do not charge PST if you arrange for the goods to be shipped or delivered to a location outside British Columbia
Are leases of real property (for example, bare land, retail space, storage space, or long term accommodation) subject to PST?
No, leases of real property are not subject to PST. This includes leases of bare land, farmland, retail and commercial space, storage space, and long term accommodation (over one month). However, if the lease of real property includes taxable goods together for a single price, generally, PST is charged on the fair market value of the lease for the taxable goods.
A seller refused to provide me with an exemption on exempt goods. What can I do?
If you paid PST on exempt goods or services, or if you were required to pay PST because you didn't provide the required information or document to obtain an exemption at the time of the sale, you can get a refund or credit from the seller of the PST you paid within 180 days of the date PST was paid. However, if the exemption is dependent on you providing required information or documentation (for example, your PST registration number), you must provide this information to the seller before they can provide a refund or credit. Alternatively, you may apply directly to the government for a refund.
Does the PST apply to memberships or event admission?
No, PST does not apply to memberships, event admissions, or tickets and passes for sporting or music events, as long as no taxable goods (for example, a t-shirt) are provided with the membership or admission.
Are consulting, management or financial services subject to PST?
No, stand alone consulting, management and financial services that do not include the sale or lease of any taxable goods, services or software are not subject to PST.
Are "eco" fees and environmental surcharges subject to PST?
Yes, "eco" fees and environmental levies such as those applied by various industry stewardship programs to items such as tires, batteries and electronics form part of the total purchase price for these goods and are subject to PST if the goods themselves are subject to PST.
Do liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers qualify as manufacturers eligible to obtain production machinery and equipment (PM&E) exempt from PST?
No, the PM&E exemption for manufacturing does not apply to LNG production. However, while liquefied natural gas processing does not qualify as manufacturing, there is a PM&E exemption for qualifying oil and gas producers. LNG producers may be eligible for the PST exemption for PM&E obtained for use in the extraction or processing of natural gas.
Are liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers eligible to purchase natural gas exempt from PST if they convert it into LNG for sale?
Yes, if the LNG is being produced for the purpose of sale, including exported for sale, the natural gas purchased by the producer of the LNG would be exempt from PST. Natural gas used by the LNG producer as part of the production process will be subject to carbon tax and may be subject to either PST or motor fuel tax depending on how the natural gas is used.
For more information about the items and services that are exempt from Good and Services Tax (GST), please refer to our main Canada sales tax page.
Quick Reference Sales Tax Table
- We've compiled a table of common values below according to a sales tax rate of 12% in British Columbia, Canada.
- To maintain clarity and consistency, all numbers below have been rounded in the standard fashion.
- If your value falls outside of the range presented, just input your desired value into our calculator above.
More From Investomatica:
For income tax, please visit our British Columbia Income Tax Rates and Calculator page.
- Last reviewed on January 22, 2023.
- The content shown on this page is only for informational purposes only. Nothing here constitutes tax advice or advice of any other kind.
- The data here only represents the estimated common sales tax rate in this particular location.
- If you notice a miscalculation or error with our calculator (most likely caused by a typo somewhere), feel free to direct message us on twitter and let us know. However, if you have specific tax questions, please consult a licensed tax professional.
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