Tax Alerts

Tax Alerts

Tax Alerts


BC - Province revises sales tax information bulletins for resource industries The Small Business and Revenue Division of B.C. Finance has issued a number of revised and updated sales tax bulletins which apply to resource industries in the province. The updated and revised bulletins are as follows:

Bulletin PST 110, Production Machinery and Equipment Exemption

Bulletin PST 111, Mining Industry

Bulletin PST 112, Logging Industry

Bulletin PST 113, Oil and Gas Industry – Producers and Processors

Bulletin PST 114, Oil and Gas Industry – Exploration, Discovery and Development

Bulletin PST 115, Oil and Gas Industry – Service Provider

The updated bulletins, each of which contains a listing of the latest revisions, can be found on the B.C. Small Business and Revenue website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/msbr/whats_new/consumer_taxes/whatsnew.htm


The B.C. Ministry of Finance has issued an updated bulletin (Bulletin MFT-CT 005 – Tax Rates on Fuels) outlining the current motor fuel and carbon tax rules and rates which apply to various types of fuels used in internal combustion engines. The updated Bulletin summarizes those rates as they apply to clear gasoline and clear diesel, alternative motor fuels, natural gas used in stationary engines and substances sold for use other than in internal combustion engines. Information is also provided on calculating multiple taxes on the same fuel purchase and the reporting of tax on sales invoices.

The updated Bulletin can be found on the B.C. Finance website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/mft-ct_005.pdf


The provincial government has released the Public Accounts for the province’s 2015-16 fiscal year. Those accounts show that British Columbia ended that fiscal year with a surplus of $730 million, $353 million more than forecast. Government spending for 2015-16 increased by $2.4 billion, primarily on core services like health, education, and the natural resource sectors. Revenue for the year was also up, by $1.5 billion, largely as the result of increased tax revenue.

More details of the province’s revenue and expenditure figures for the year can be found in the provincial government press release, which can be found at https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016FIN0031-001322#sthash.ReZuoruE.dpuf


The provincial government has announced that a new property transfer tax will be imposed as of August 2, 2016. That tax will apply to residential property transfers to foreign entities in the Greater Vancouver Regional District. The new tax, which is additional to the existing general property transfer tax, will be equal to 15% of the fair market value of the foreign entity’s interest in the property being purchased.

More information on the new tax, including the definition of a foreign entity and the specific municipalities for which the new tax will apply, can be found in a Ministry of Finance Tax Information Sheet (2016-006), which is available at www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/taxes/property-taxes/property-transfer-tax/forms-publications/is-006-additional-property-transfer-tax-foreign-entities-vancouver.pdf#sthash.ReZuoruE.dpuf


The provincial government is undertaking a review of B.C.’s business tax system, including its provincial sales tax system, through the new Commission on Tax Competitiveness.

That Commission will be seeking input from B.C. residents on any changes needed to the current system. Such input can be provided between July 14 and September 30, using an online feedback form. That form will be available until September 30, 2016 at 4pm.

A report on the Commission’s findings will then by provided to the Minister of Finance by October 31, 2016.

More details of the Commission’s mandate are outlined on its website, which can be found at http://engage.gov.bc.ca/taxcommission/


The B.C. Ministry of Finance has updated and re-issued Bulletin MFT 004, Fuel Tax Refund for Persons with Disabilities, and FIN 119, Application for Registration for the Fuel Tax Refund Program for Persons with Disabilities.

The new application form, which can be found at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/mft_004.pdf updates the options available for submission of that application, while the new Bulletin, which is available at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/mft_004.pdf, clarifies certain certification and documentation requirements.


The province of British Columbia levies and pays interest at prescribed rates on underpayments and overpayments of tax with respect to corporation capital tax, logging tax, and insurance premium tax. The rates levied and paid for the first three quarters of 2016 are as follows:

Debit Credit
January 1 - March 31, 20165.7%0.7%
April 1 – June 30, 20165.7%0.7%
July 1 – September 30, 20165.7%0.7%

A listing of credit and debit rates since 2007 can be found on the British Columbia Small Business and Revenue Web site at www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=4E6B7EEF8F7B482EB07543A0E26486E7&title=Interest%20Rates


Homeowners in the province are eligible to apply for the Home Owner Grant as a means of reducing their property taxes payable for the year, and are advised to apply for the grant as soon as they receive their property tax notices for the year. The deadline for applications for the grant for the 2016 property tax year is December 31, 2016, although retroactive applications (for a period of up to one year) are also permitted.

Earlier this year, the provincial government announced an increase in the threshold for the phase-out of the grant, from $1,100,000 to $1,200,000. For properties valued above the phase-out threshold, the grant is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value in excess of that threshold. In addition, a laneway home may qualify as a separate residence for the first time in 2016.

More information on the B.C. Home Owner Grant program can be found on the B.C. Finance website at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/reduce/home-owner-grant


Homeowners in the province are eligible to apply for the Home Owner Grant as a means of reducing their property taxes payable for the year, and are advised to apply for the grant as soon as they receive their property tax notices for the year. The deadline for applications for the grant for the 2016 property tax year is December 31, 2016, although retroactive applications (for a period of up to one year) are also permitted.

Earlier this year, the provincial government announced an increase in the threshold for the phase-out of the grant, from $1,100,000 to $1,200,000. For properties valued above the phase-out threshold, the grant is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value in excess of that threshold. In addition, a laneway home may qualify as a separate residence for the first time in 2016.

More information on the B.C. Home Owner Grant program can be found on the B.C. Finance website at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/reduce/home-owner-grant


B.C. Finance has issued a revised and updated version of its PST Bulletin 002, When to Charge and Collect PST. The updated bulletin reviews the deadlines by which businesses must charge and collect PST, including situations of lease payments and sales made on credit. The updated bulletin can be found at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pst_002.pdf

The new rules will require real estate licensees who draft offers to buy property to include two separate terms about contract assignment in the offer: one that requires the seller’s consent to transfer the contract, and one that requires any resulting profit to be returned to the seller.

As part of the Bulletin’s revision, information on how to report and remit PST and municipal and regional district tax (MRDT), including reporting periods, due dates, and commission rates was deleted. That information can now be found on the provincial government website at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/sales-taxes/pst/report-pay


The provincial government has announced new rules which apply to sales of residential real estate in B.C. The changes are designed to prevent situations in which a buyer purchases a property, only to reassign the contract at a higher price before the closing date, without the seller approving the assignment.

The new rules will require real estate licensees who draft offers to buy property to include two separate terms about contract assignment in the offer: one that requires the seller’s consent to transfer the contract, and one that requires any resulting profit to be returned to the seller.

More information on the new rules, which apply to offers made on or after May 16, 2016, can be found on the B.C. Ministry of Finance website at https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016FIN0018-000756. https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016FIN0018-000756


The province applies a carbon tax to the purchase or use of fuels such as gasoline, diesel, natural gas, heating fuel, propane, and coal, unless a specific exemption applies.
Carbon tax collectors are required to file a return and remit such tax collected. B.C. Small Business and Revenue recently issued the tax return and remittance forms which are to be used for reporting periods beginning March 1, 2016.

The new forms are available on the provincial government website at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/forms/0175-0316FILL.pdf and more information on the carbon tax generally can be found at www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/sales-taxes/motor-fuel-carbon-tax#carbon-tax


The province of British Columbia administers a property tax deferment program which allows qualifying homeowners in the province to defer payment of their property taxes, generally until their property is sold.
There are a number of components to the program, for different categories of homeowners, and each has its own requirements and qualification criteria. B.C. Small Business and Revenue has issued property tax deferment program application forms and guides which are to be used for property tax deferment applications for 2016. The new forms are as follows:


  • FIN 28, Families with Children Property Tax Deferment Program Application and Agreement
  • FIN 28 Guide, Families with Children Property Tax Deferment Program Application and Agreement Guide
  • FIN 51, Property Tax Deferment Program Application and Agreement
  • FIN 51 Guide, Property Tax Deferment Program Application and Agreement Guide

More information on the B.C. property tax deferment program can be found at www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/pay/defer-taxes


In this year’s Budget, the province announced that it would be reviewing, in consultation with industry representatives, the rising cost of B.C.’s production services tax credits for film and television.
Those consultations have been carried out, and the provincial government has announced that the following changes are planned: for principal photography beginning on or after October 1, 2016, the basic production services tax credit rate will be set at 28%, down from 33%, and the digital animation or visual effects tax credit rate will be set at 16%, down from 17.5%.

The province will be providing a transitional period to recognize the investments already planned for British Columbia. More information on the changes can be found in the provincial government press release, available at https://archive.news.gov.bc.ca/releases/news_releases_2013-2017/2016FIN0016-000699.htm


In this year’s Budget, the provincial government announced that the property transfer tax rate would be increased from 2% to 3% on the portion of a property’s fair market value above $2 million. The change is effective as of February 17, 2016.
The province’s property tax transfer system imposes tax at a rate of 1% on the first $200,000 of a property’s fair market value and 2% on the fair market value between $200,000 and $2 million. Those rates will continue to apply.

The budget announcement of the rate change can be found at http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2016/bfp/2016_Budget_and_Fiscal_Plan.pdf and more information on B.C.’s property transfer tax system is available at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/property-transfer-tax


As announced in this year’s Budget, later this year the province will begin to require information to be provided on the citizenship of purchasers of property located in British Columbia. The applicable information collection and reporting requirements will differ, depending on whether the purchaser is an individual, a trust, or a corporation.
The Ministry of Finance has now issued a Tax Information Sheet (2016-005) outlining the new requirements in detail, in order to assist those who must file Property Transfer Tax Returns.

Tax Information Sheet 2016-005 can be found on the Ministry of Finance website at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/brochures/Collect_and_Report_Citizenship_Information_PTT_Return.pdf


The B.C. Ministry of Finance has issued a new tax Provincial Sales Tax Bulletin (Bulletin PST 104) to assist wholesalers in the province to determine how the PST applies to their businesses.
Generally, wholesalers who do not make retail sales in the ordinary course of business are not required to register. However, there are circumstances in which wholesalers must register, and other circumstances in which voluntary registration may be advantageous, and those are outlined in the Bulletin.

The new Bulletin can be found on the Ministry of Finance website at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pst_104.pdf


The B.C. Ministry of Finance has issued a new tax Provincial Sales Tax Bulletin (Bulletin PST 104) to assist wholesalers in the province to determine how the PST applies to their businesses.
Generally, wholesalers who do not make retail sales in the ordinary course of business are not required to register. However, there are circumstances in which wholesalers must register, and other circumstances in which voluntary registration may be advantageous, and those are outlined in the Bulletin.

The new Bulletin can be found on the Ministry of Finance website at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pst_104.pdf


In its most recent rating, Moody’s Investors Service has confirmed that the province continues to have an Aaa rating, with a stable outlook.
In providing that rating – the highest possible – Moody’s cited the province’s diverse economy and prudent fiscal management, as well as its continued plan for balance budgets. In addition, in the agency’s view, British Columbia’s debt affordability remains manageable.

The provincial government press release announcing the newest rating, which can be found at https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016FIN0009-000529 also notes that the province has received seven credit rating upgrades since November 2004.


The B.C. government has issued a PST Notice outlining changes to procedures for filing of provincial sales tax (PST) returns.
Registrants will no longer be able to file a paper PST return at a financial institution (e.g., banks and credit unions), and those who currently do so are advised to check with their financial institution to determine the effective date of that change. Registrants will have to file using online services provided by the provincial government or by a financial institution, or by filing at a government office or through mail or courier.

Information on the changes is provided in PST Notice 2016-001, which can be found on the B.C. Small Business and Revenue website at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/notices/notice_2016-001.pdf


The province of British Columbia levies and pays interest at prescribed rates on underpayments and overpayments of tax with respect to corporation capital tax, logging tax, and insurance premium tax. The rates levied and paid for the first half of 2016 are as follows:


Debit Credit
January 1 - March 31, 2016 5.07% 0.7%
April 1 – June 30, 2016 5.07% 0.07%

A listing of credit and debit rates since 2007 can be found on the British Columbia Small Business and Revenue Web site at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/income-taxes/interest-rates


In this year’s Budget, the province announced that a full or partial property transfer tax exemption would be made available on sales of qualifying new-home builds in the province.

To qualify for the exemption, the property must have a fair market value of $750,000 or less, must be used as a principal residence by the purchaser, and must be registered by an individual purchaser who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Occupancy requirements for the property are also imposed.
Additional details of the new exemption can be found on the B.C. Small Business and Revenue website at - See more at: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/property-transfer-tax/understand/exemptions/newly-built-home-exemption.


Effective January 1, 2017, a number of changes will be made to the province’s Medical Services Plan (MSP). Premiums payable under that Plan will be increased by about 4%, meaning that maximum premium rates will increase by $3 per month per adult.

Two other changes will also be made to the MSP premium rate structure as of the same date. First, the calculation of monthly MSP premiums will be based solely on the number of adults in a family. Second, the MSP premium rate paid by couples will be set at twice the MSP premium rate paid by single adults. Currently, couples pay less than twice the amount paid by single adults. Finally, MSP premium assistance will be enhanced, also effective as of January 1, 2017.
More details of the upcoming changes to the MSP are outlined in a backgrounder to the 2016-17 BC. Budget Papers, which can be found at - See more at: http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2016/backgrounders/2016_Backgrounder_2_MSP.pdf.


In this year’s budget, the province announced that a new Farmers’ Food Donation Tax Credit would be available for the 2016 to 2018 tax years. The credit is a non-refundable income tax credit intended to encourage farmers and farming corporations to donate certain agricultural products that they produce in the province to registered charities, such as food banks or school meal programs.

The credit will be equal to 25 per cent of the eligible amount of all of the farmer’s or farming corporation’s qualifying gifts for the tax year. It will be available to farmers, their spouse or common-law partners, or farming corporations who make a gift of agricultural product after February 16, 2016 and before January 1, 2019.

Donors will be eligible for any charitable and other gift tax credit claimable, in addition to the Farmers’ Food Donation Tax Credit. More information on the new credit is available at - See more at: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/income-taxes/personal/credits/farmers-food-donation.


Since 2012, the province has provided seniors with a home renovation tax credit. The refundable personal income tax credit assists with the cost of certain permanent home renovations, to improve accessibility or to help an individual be more functional or mobile at home.

In the recent provincial budget it was announced that, effective with the 2016 tax year, the BC seniors’ home renovation tax credit is expanded and can be claimed by persons with disabilities who are eligible to claim the federal disability tax credit.
The expanded credit will be available in respect of eligible expenditures made on or after February 17, 2016. More information on the credit, including the types of expenses which may be eligible, can be found at www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/income-taxes/personal/credits/seniors-renovation.


The B.C. mining flow-through share tax credit allows individuals who invest in flow-through shares to claim a non-refundable tax credit of 20% of their B.C. flow-through mining expenditures. Such expenditures are specific exploration expenses incurred after July 30, 2001 and renounced by a corporation issuing the flow-through shares.
The mining flow-through share tax credit was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2015, but has been extended to be available until December 31, 2016.
The budget announcement of the extension can be found at www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/income-taxes/personal/credits/mining-flow-through, and more information on the credit generally is available at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pit_001.pdf


The 2016-17 provincial Budget included a measure to increase affordability for potential buyers in the province’s booming real estate market.
The new measure will provide an exemption from property transfer tax, effective as of February 17, 2016, for newly constructed homes used as a principal residence. Buyers of such homes do not have to be first-time owners of residential real estate in order to benefit from the exemption. The full exemption is available for homes with a fair market value of up to $750,000, with a partial exemption available for homes having a fair market value of up to $800,000.
The announcement of the exemption can be found in the B.C. Budget Papers, which are available at http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2016/bfp/2016_Budget_and_Fiscal_Plan.pdf


British Columbia’s 2016-17 Budget will be brought down on Tuesday February 16, 2016, at about 1:30 p.m.
Once the Budget is announced in the Legislature, the full Budget Papers will be made available on the B.C. Finance website at
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/default.htm


B.C. Small Business and Revenue has issued Bulletin CTB 005 which outlines the penalties and interest charges which can be levied under a variety of provincial tax statutes for missing tax returns, late payments or underpayments, and not charging, collecting, and remitting tax as required. The measures outlined in the bulletin apply for purposes of the Carbon Tax Act, Motor Fuel Tax Act, Provincial Sales Tax Act, and Tobacco Tax Act.
The new bulletin, which can be found on the Small Business and Revenue website at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/ctb_005.pdf, completely rewrites and replaces the previous bulletin on penalties and interest.


B.C. Small Business and Revenue has issued Bulletin CTB 005 which outlines the penalties and interest charges which can be levied under a variety of provincial tax statutes for missing tax returns, late payments or underpayments, and not charging, collecting, and remitting tax as required. The measures outlined in the bulletin apply for purposes of the Carbon Tax Act, Motor Fuel Tax Act, Provincial Sales Tax Act, and Tobacco Tax Act.
The new bulletin, which can be found on the Small Business and Revenue website at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/ctb_005.pdf, completely rewrites and replaces the previous bulletin on penalties and interest.


For the 2016 tax year, the province will provide the following non-refundable personal tax credit amounts.
Basic personal amount…………………………………………… $10,027 Spouse or common-law partner amount ……………… $8,586 Age amount ……………………………………………………………… $4,497 Eligible dependant amount ……………………………………… $8,586 All credit amounts are converted to non-refundable tax credits by multiplying by 5.06%.


The province of British Columbia levies and pays interest at prescribed rates on underpayments and overpayments of tax with respect to corporation capital tax, logging tax, and insurance premium tax. The rates levied and paid for the first quarter of 2016 are as follows:
Debit Credit January 1 - March 31, 2016 5.70% 0.70% A listing of credit and debit rates since 2007 can be found on the British Columbia Small Business and Revenue Web site at www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=4E6B7EEF8F7B482EB07543A0E26486E7&title=Interest%20Rates


The tax rates and brackets which will apply to individual taxpayers in B.C. for the 2016 tax year are as follows.

  • $0 to $38,210 – 5.06%;
  • $38,211 to $76,421 – 7.7%;
  • $76,422 to $87,741 – 10.5%;
  • $87,742 to $106,543 – 12.29%; and
  • over $106,543 – 14.70%

The province of British Columbia does not impose a personal income tax surtax.

The Small Business and Revenue Division of B.C.’s Ministry of Finance has updated and re-issued its bulletin (Bulletin PST 310) on the application of provincial sales tax (PST) to goods brought into or sent into the province. The last such update was issued in July 2014.

The provincial sales tax rate for goods brought or sent in to British Columbia is generally 7%. Different or higher rates can apply to vehicles and boats, to manufactured modular homes and mobile homes, and to liquor.

The updated bulletin, which can be found on the provincial government website at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pst_310.pdf, outlines general definitions and PST rates, reviews the rules on PST registration, collection and exemptions, and provides examples of how to calculate PST due.


The B.C. Ministry of Finance has issued an updated version of its sales tax Bulletin PST 120, on the application of that tax to sales of accommodation in the province. Changes to the bulletin clarify thatPST and the Municipal and Regional District Tax do not apply to accommodation provided by a religious or charitable organization at a summer camp or similar place, or to accommodation without bed linen, electricity, indoor plumbing, or heat.
The B.C. Ministry of Finance has issued an updated version of its sales tax Bulletin PST 120, on the application of that tax to sales of accommodation in the province. Changes to the bulletin clarify thatPST and the Municipal and Regional District Tax do not apply to accommodation provided by a religious or charitable organization at a summer camp or similar place, or to accommodation without bed linen, electricity, indoor plumbing, or heat.
The updated Bulletin can be found on the B.C. Finance website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pst_120.pdf


The 2015-16 B.C. Budget included an announcement of changes to the province’s fuel tax regime, with those changes taking effect on July 1, 2015.
The changes require vendors of coloured fuel, marine diesel, or locomotive fuel to obtain a completed and signed copy of the Coloured Fuel Certification (FIN 430) before making such sales. Details of the changes are outlined in Tax Notice 2015-001, available at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/notices/notice_2015-001.pdf. As a consequence of those changes, B.C. Finance has issued Form FIN461, Application for Authorization to Sell Coloured Fuel.
The updated form is available on the B.C. Small Business and Revenue website www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/forms/0461FILL.pdf.


Effective as of December 31, 2015, the B.C. Mining Flow-Through Share Tax Credit program will expire. That program provides tax credits for individuals who invest in flow-through shares offered by a corporation conducting mining exploration in the province.
B.C. Finance has issued Notice 2015-006 to explain how the increase will be implemented, particularly with respect to sales of accommodation which straddle the implementation date of September 1. In some cases, the change will also mean a one-time change in the reporting period for those who levy and collect the MRDT, and those changes are also outlined in the Notice.
B.C. Finance has updated and re-issued its bulletin (PIT 001) on the Mining Flow-Through Share Tax Credit. The Bulletin has been revised to reflect the new expiry date of December 31, 2015 and to update information about the CRA forms required to apply for the credit. The updated Bulletin can be found on the B.C. Finance website at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pit_001.pdf


Sales of accommodation in the province are subject to the 8% provincial sales tax. Such sales may also be subject to the municipal and regional district tax (MRDT). The MRDT is currently levied at a rate of 2%, but that rate will increase to 3%, effective September 1, 2015, for accommodation sold in Vancouver.
B.C. Finance has issued Notice 2015-006 to explain how the increase will be implemented, particularly with respect to sales of accommodation which straddle the implementation date of September 1. In some cases, the change will also mean a one-time change in the reporting period for those who levy and collect the MRDT, and those changes are also outlined in the Notice.
Provincial Sales Tax Notice 2015-006 is available on the B.C. Finance website at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/notices/Notice_2015-006.pdf, and Bulletin PST 120, Accommodation, can be found at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pst_120.pdf


Qualifying residents of British Columbia have the option of deferring payment of their annual property taxes. Deferral programs are available for B.C. residents aged 55 and older, surviving spouses of any age, persons with disabilities, and parents or stepparents who are financially supporting a child.
Generally, an individual who wishes to defer property taxes must be the registered owner of the property and must have lived in British Columbia for at least one year. Homeowners who apply under the general program must have at least 25% equity in their homes to qualify, while those who apply under the family program must have at least 15% equity to qualify for a deferral.
For all groups, any property tax deferral application in respect of 2014 property taxes must be filed on or before December 31, 2014. General information on the program can be found on the B.C. government website at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=C328CC97B41F441BBB63E2D54299C04F&title=Defer%20Your%20Taxes, and application forms are available at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=67374987E9B843558077844C87C5ED2A&title=Forms#PTD.


Several recent changes have been made to the administration of B.C.’s insurance premium and logging tax regimes.
The most important change will allow taxpayers having accounts for either of those taxes to have access to the province’s new online system, eTaxBC. Such access will allow users to update account information, correspond with Ministry staff, file tax returns, and pay taxes online. More information on the new online option is available at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=10B36678012E48D4824B2415E20FFFD8.
The province has also redesigned the webpages for both taxes and revised a number of forms. The new webpages can be found at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=9FEE84D26E4C404EA30F545B3730305C (Insurance Premiums Tax) and http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=AE72324B312F4E8BBD80225C7821D494 (Logging Tax).


The second quarter fiscal update issued recently by B.C.’s Minister of Finance indicates that the province remains on track to post a surplus for the 2014-15 fiscal year. That update indicated that total revenue for the year would be $194 million higher than the figure announced in the first quarter report. Total government spending was also up, but only by $16 million more than was indicated in the first quarter report. Overall, the government anticipates that there will be a year-end surplus of $444 million, up by $178 million since the previous quarterly report.
The press release announcing the updated figures, which includes a link to the full fiscal update, can be found on the provincial government website at http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2014/11/bc-stays-course-with-balanced-budget-in-second-quarter.html.


The province’s Ministry of Finance has issued a Tax Notice reminding holders of IFTA licences that 2014 IFTA licence and decals will expire on December 31, 2014.
In order to renew an IFTA account for 2015, the account must be in good standing, meaning that all tax returns up to and including the 3rd quarter 2014 tax return must be filed and the account must not have an unpaid balance. If a renewal application for an account for 2015 is not received on time, the account will be closed.
More information on IFTA account renewals for 2015 can be found in the Tax Notice, which is available on the B.C. Finance website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/notices/notice_2014-005.pdf.


The provincial government provides a property tax deferral option for certain groups of B.C. property owners, including those aged 55 or older, surviving spouses of any age, persons with disabilities, and parents or step-parents who are supporting children.
Those who wish to take advantage of that program must apply to do so. Where that application is approved, the provincial government pays the individual’s current year property taxes, and levies an interest charge (currently 1% or 3%) on all deferred property tax amounts.
The deadline for applications for deferral of current year taxes is the end of the calendar year—December 31st, 2014 for applications to defer 2014 property taxes. Where an application is made after the property tax due date for 2014, a late payment penalty will be payable, but the application for deferral can still be made any time before December 31st.
More information on the property tax deferral program can be found on the provincial government website at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=C328CC97B41F441BBB63E2D54299C04F.


The B.C. government has announced that it has begun the process of sending out Temporary Education Support Payments (TESPs) to qualifying families in the province.
The TESP program was created to help offset costs incurred by parents as a result of the labour dispute involving B.C. teachers earlier this year. The payment of $40 per day applies to the first 13 school days of September 2014.
It is necessary to register to receive a TESP, and that registration must be done by January 31st, 2015. The provincial government estimates that 97% of families eligible for the payment have already registered, and that the majority of payments would be issued by the end of October.
The provincial government press release can be found at http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2014/10/families-begin-receiving-tesp-payments-this-week.html, and online registration can be done at https://www.etax.gov.bc.ca/btp/tesp/_/.


In its 2014-15 Budget, the province announced that it would be bringing forward a new tax regime for the Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) industry. Details of that regime have now been released, and those details include a reduction in the tax rate to be applied to the industry.
The LNG income tax applies to the net income from liquefaction activities at LNG facilities in B.C. The tax rate on net income will be 3.5% for taxation years beginning on or after January 1, 2017 and 5% for taxation years beginning on or after January 1, 2037.
More information on the new tax can be found on the B.C. government website at http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2014/10/lng-income-tax-ensures-fair-returns-for-british-columbians-certainty-for-industry.html%20, and on the B.C. Finance website at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=75BD4BF2B6B5493FB8A36DB05EBA764D.


The B.C. Ministry of Finance has updated and re-issued its bulletin (Bulletin MFT–CT 001) outlining the application of the province’s motor fuel tax and carbon tax to vendors of fuel in British Columbia.
The updated Bulletin highlights changes which have been implemented since March 2014. Those changes address exemptions to the requirement to pay a security and outline the circumstances under which a fuel seller is not required to collect motor fuel or carbon tax.
The updated Bulletin can be found on the B.C. Ministry of Finance website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/mft-ct_001.pdf.


Since 1999, British Columbia has provided qualifying companies with both a refundable and a non-refundable tax credit for scientific research and experimental development (SR&ED) activities carried out in the province.
Both SR&ED tax credits were scheduled to be available for qualifying activities carried out prior to September 1, 2014. However, in this year’s budget, the province announced that the SR&ED tax credit program would be extended, and that the credit could be claimed for qualifying activities carried out up to September 1, 2017. No change was made to credit rates or to the definition of qualifying activities.
More details of the eligibility requirements, and how and when to claim the provincial SR&ED credit can be found in Tax Bulletin CIT 007, which is available on the B.C. Finance website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/cit_007.pdf.


In this year’s budget, the province announced the creation of a new income tax to be levied on the liquid natural gas (LNG) industry, and indicated that legislation to implement that tax would be introduced in the fall of this year.
The new tax is to be applied to income from sales of LNG and to rents and fees payable for the use of an LNG facility and fees levied for processing natural gas at such a facility. The tax applies whether the LNG is produced for domestic use or for export.
The new tax is to be levied in two tiers. Details of how the two tiers operate, as well as an example of the application of the tax can be found on the provincial government website at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=75BD4BF2B6B5493FB8A36DB05EBA764D.


The Small Business and Revenue Division of B.C. Finance has issued two new or updated sales tax bulletins, outlining the application of the province’s PST to specific sectors or industries.
The first Bulletin (PST 140), available at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pst_140.pdf, describes the application of the tax to the B.C. funeral industry, while the second bulletin (PST 119), found at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pst_119.pdf, summarizes the circumstances in which PST must be levied by restaurants and liquor sellers in the province.


Following the release of audited public accounts for 2013-14, the B.C. Minister of Finance has confirmed that the province ended that fiscal year with a surplus of $353 million, $200 million more than was forecast in the budget.
Government revenues were $511 million lower than forecast in the 2013 Budget Update, primarily due to a drop in taxation revenues and lower-than-anticipated earnings for self-supported Crown corporations. However, overall government spending was $561 million less than forecast in the same Budget Update.
The news release and a backgrounder outlining the fiscal results for 2013-14 can be found on the B.C. government website at http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2014/07/audited-public-accounts-confirms-balanced-budget.html. Those documents also indicate that the province remains on track to balance its budget for the current (2014-15) fiscal year.


Unless a specific exemption applies, residents of British Columbia are required to pay provincial sales tax (PST) on goods brought into the province, including vehicles. The amount of PST payable is calculated based on the depreciated value of such goods, as determined by a prescribed formula. The B.C. Ministry of Small Business and Revenue has issued a Bulletin (No. 310, available at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pst_310.pdf) which outlines in detail the kinds of goods affected and the methods by which the amount of PST payable is calculated.


Provincial sales tax (PST) and ICE (Innovative Clean Energy) Fund tax are assessed on sales of many energy products in B.C. However, purchases of natural gas for use in an internal combustion engine (e.g., a motor vehicle) are exempt from both PST and the ICE Fund tax.
The B.C. Ministry of Small Business and Revenue has issued a number of forms and bulletins relating to the natural gas exemption from PST and ICE Fund tax. Those documents include the Certificate of Exemption (http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/forms/0449FILL.pdf), which must be provided by the purchaser when claiming the exemption, and two updated bulletins: The Energy Conservation and ICE Fund Tax Bulletin (http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pst_203.pdf), and the PST Exemptions and Documentation Bulletin (http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pst_200.pdf) , which outline the terms of the exemptions and how they are claimed.


The province of British Columbia levies and pays interest at prescribed rates on underpayments and overpayments of tax with respect to corporation capital tax, logging tax, and insurance premium tax. The rates levied and paid for the first three quarters of 2014 are as follows:

Debit Credit
January 1 - March 31, 2014 6.00% 1.00%
April 1 - June 30, 2014 6.00% 1.00%
uly 1 – September 30, 2014 6.00% 1.00%

A listing of credit and debit rates since 2006 can be found on the British Columbia Small Business and Revenue Web site at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=4E6B7EEF8F7B482EB07543A0E26486E7&title=Interest%20Rates.


The B.C. Ministry of Small Business and Revenue has issued two new tax bulletins which provide up-to-date information on its sales tax assessment, collection, and audit policies and processes.
The first bulletin (GEN 001), Collecting Overdue Taxes (available at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/gen_001.pdf), outlines the steps to be taken when an assessment is received and when the taxpayer disagrees with that assessment, as well as policies and procedures relating to collection action. Bulletin CTB 003, Audits (available athttp://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/ctb_003.pdf), reviews the province’s audit process under the sales tax legislation, including how taxpayers are selected for audit, the powers of an auditor, and a flowchart outlining a typical audit process.


British Columbia provides programs which allow specified groups of homeowners within the province to defer payment of their property taxes. Such programs are provided for those over age 55, for the disabled, and for families supporting dependent children. Different eligibility criteria for the deferment program apply, depending on the particular group.
The province has now issued the application forms and guides for deferral applications with respect to 2014 property taxes, and those forms and guides are listed below.
FIN 28, Families with Children Property Tax Deferment Program Application and Agreement
FIN 28 Guide, Families with Children Property Tax Deferment Program Application and Agreement Guide
FIN 51, Property Tax Deferment Program Application and Agreement
FIN 51 Guide, Property Tax Deferment Program Application and Agreement Guide
FIN 62, Renewal Application—Property Tax Deferment Program


The B.C. Ministry of Revenue and Small Business has issued a new bulletin (Bulletin PST 311) on the application of provincial sales tax to promotional materials and special offers.
For PST purposes, promotional materials are defined as goods, software, or telecommunications services that a business uses, gives away, or sells below cost, for the purpose of promoting or encouraging the purchase or use of those goods or services.
The new bulletin, which can be found on the government website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pst_311.pdf, outlines the application of PST to a number of special situations, including special offers like the provision of bonus items and coupons and rebate offers.


Four rating agencies have recently confirmed the province’s current high credit rating. In confirming the ratings, the Dominion Bond Rating Service (AA high), Standard and Poor’s (AAA), Moody’s Investors Service (AAA), and Fitch Ratings (AAA) each made note of B.C.’s “disciplined” financial management practices.
The provincial government press releases announcing the new ratings, which can be found at http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/ministries/finance/more-news.html, note that, since November 2004, the province has received seven credit rating upgrades, and now has the highest credit rating possible with Moody’s Investors Service, Standard and Poor’s, and Fitch’s.


In this year’s provincial budget, it was announced that B.C.’s Medical Services Plan premiums will be increased, effective January 1, 2015.
Maximum monthly premium rates will increase to $72.00 for single persons, to $130.50 for two person families, and to $144.00 for families of three or more persons.
At the same time, premium assistance will be enhanced to ensure that those receiving assistance are not affected by the increases.
Details of existing premium rates, as well as information on premium assistance, can be found on the B.C. government website at http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/msp/infoben/premium.html.


British Columbia provides a Home Owner Grant program to help offset the cost of property taxes for identified groups of homeowners in the province.
The basic Home Owner Grant program is augmented by supplements for veterans and for lower-income home owners in the province. B.C. Finance recently updated and re-issued the application forms to be used by lower income homeowners and veterans when applying for those supplements. Those application forms are available on the B.C. Finance website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/forms/0065FILL.pdf and http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/forms/0079FILL.pdf.
The province also updated and re-issued its Tax Information Sheet (2012-01) on the Veterans’ Supplement and that Information Sheet is available at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/brochures/Info_Sheet_2012-01.pdf.


British Columbia’s provincial sales tax applies to goods brought, sent, or delivered into B.C. for use, unless a specific exemption applies. One of those exemptions is for new residents who have moved to the province.
In this year’s budget, a change was made to the rules governing that new resident exemption. Under those new rules a new resident individual may be eligible for an exemption from PST on goods (i.e., equipment, motor vehicles, boats) brought into the province if he or she meets the following criteria.
• The goods are brought, sent, or received in B.C. solely for a non-business purpose.
• The goods enter B.C. within one year of the individual becoming a resident of the province (e.g., if the individual became a resident on January 1, the goods must enter B.C. by December 31). This requirement came into effect on February 19, 2014.
• The individual owns the goods and has owned the goods for a continuous period of at least 30 days before he or she became a resident of B.C.
A provincial sales tax bulletin outlining the rules for the new resident exemption can be found at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pst_306.pdf.


Several new or updated sales tax bulletins have been issued outlining the application of provincial sales tax (PST) to the goods and services purchased and provided by contractors.
Bulletin PST 500, PST Overview for Real Property Contractors, reviews the definition of contractor for PST purposes and the application of the tax to such contractors. Information specific to types of contractors or kinds of goods and services are provided in Bulletin PST 501, Real Property Contractors, and Bulletin PST 502, Examples–Goods That Generally Become Part of Real Property and Goods That Do Not. Finally, Bulletin PST 599, Real Property Transitional Rules, reviews the application of PST rules during the transition period when PST was re-introduced in 2013.


The B.C. Ministry of Small Business and Revenue has updated and re-released its guide to provincial sales tax for small businesses in the province.
The guide, which was last updated a year ago, explains the basics of the province’s PST regime, including taxable and non-taxable goods, collection and remittance of PST and registration, remittance and filing requirements for businesses in the province. The newest release, which can be found at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/brochures/SmallBusinessGuide.pdf, also clarifies the criteria for who qualifies as a small seller, the requirement to charge, collect, and remit PST on sales of business assets, and the process for voluntary disclosures of PST liabilities.


Under the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), a carrier files a single quarterly tax return and payment to its base jurisdiction for travel in other IFTA jurisdictions. Base jurisdictions process the tax returns and distribute the tax based on where the fuel was consumed
The B.C. Ministry of Revenue has issued two new publications outlining changes to the IFTA regime in the province. Those changes generally include information on how the province’s online tax reporting and payment system, eTaxBC, can be used to register for IFTA, renew an annual license, and file and pay quarterly tax returns.
The updated B.C. IFTA Operating Manual can be found at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/brochures/IFTA_Operating_Manual.pdf, and Bulletin MFT-CT 008, International Fuel Tax Agreement and Motive Fuel User Permits, is available athttp://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/mft-ct_008.pdf.


The province of British Columbia levies and pays interest at prescribed rates on underpayments and overpayments of tax with respect to corporation capital tax, logging tax, and insurance premium tax. The rates levied and paid for the first half of 2014 are as follows:

Debit Credit
January 1 - March 31, 2014 6.00% 1.00%
April 1 - June 30, 2014 6.00% 1.00%

A listing of credit and debit rates since 2006 can be found on the British Columbia Small Business and Revenue Web site at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=4E6B7EEF8F7B482EB07543A0E26486E7&title=Interest%20Rates.


The province provides a full or partial exemption from the payment of property transfer tax for first-time home buyers who are residents of B.C. through its First Time Home Buyers’ Program.
In this year’s budget, the provincial government announced an increase in the eligibility thresholds for the exemption. Effective for property transfers registered on or after February 19, 2014, a full land transfer tax exemption is available where the fair market value of the property is $475,000 or less (increased from $425,000). A partial exemption may be claimed where the fair market value of the property is less than $500,000 (increased from $450,000).
More information on qualifications for and the administration of the program generally can be found at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=BBD16E2D7C1841A7BBD420E3AC5380F1&title=First%20Time%20Home%20Buyers%27%20Program.


The province provides a Home Owner Grant program to B.C. residents whose home is valued below a set threshold. Under the program, qualifying homeowners can receive a reduction in the amount of property taxes payable on their home.
The program was formerly available to qualifying homeowners whose properties are valued at $1,295,000 or less. For properties valued above the threshold, the grant is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value over the threshold. However, an announcement in this year’s budget decreases that threshold from $1,295,000 to $1,100,000 for the 2014 tax year, such that fewer homeowners will be eligible for the Grant.
More information on the Homeowner Grant Program can be found on the B.C. government website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/hog_001.pdf.


In this year’s budget, the province announced the creation of a new Early Childhood Tax Benefit, to be made available effective April 1, 2015.
The maximum tax-free benefit will be $55 per month per child under the age of 6. Benefits are based on the number of children in a family and the family’s net income. Such benefits will be reduced where family net income is more than $100,000, and eliminated once family net income exceeds $150,000.
A separate application is not needed to receive the provincial benefit, which will be administered by the Canada Revenue Agency. That Agency will determine eligibility for the provincial benefit from information provided on the taxpayer’s application for the federal Canada Child Tax Benefit and the taxpayer’s tax return.
More information on the new provincial benefit, as well as a toll-free number to contact for questions, can be found on the provincial government website at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=51FE08D2DFDD4C4E8F81B2E35E99E623.


B.C. provides a corporate tax credit for scientific research and experimental development (SR&ED) carried out in the province. That credit may be refundable or non-refundable, depending on the type of corporation making the claim and the amount of that claim.
The SR&ED tax credit program had been scheduled to end on September 1, 2014, but an announcement in this year’s budget indicates that the program is extended for an additional three years, to September 1, 2017.
Details of the credit, including qualifying activities and credit amounts, are outlined in Corporate Tax Bulletin 007, available at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/cit_007.pdf. The announcement of the extension can be found in the B.C. Budget papers at http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2014/bfp/2014_Budget_Fiscal_Plan.pdf.


In anticipation of a tobacco tax rate increase which will take place on April 1, 2014, all tobacco retail and wholesale vendors in the province will be required to complete and submit an inventory return for tobacco held in inventory as of midnight on March 31, 2014.

Effective April 1, 2014, the tobacco tax rates will increase to:
• $47.80 per carton of 200 cigarettes from $44.60 (the increase of $3.20 per carton equals 32¢ per package of 20 cigarettes)
• 23.9¢ per gram of loose tobacco from 22.3¢
There will be no change to cigars.
Details of the inventory return and payment requirements affecting tobacco retail and wholesale vendors are outlined in Ministry of Finance Tax Notice 2014-002, which is available at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/notices/notice_2014-002.pdf.


It was announced in the 2014-15 B.C. budget brought down on February 18, 2014, that the Mining Flow-Through Share Tax Credit (MFTC) program would be extended until the end of 2014.
The MFTC provides allows individuals who invest in flow-through shares to claim a non-refundable tax credit of 20% of their B.C. flow-through mining expenditures. The program had been scheduled to expire at the end of 2013.
The announcement of the extension can be found at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=C2AA56D8F49E4482ABAF14E3C29CECB7&title=B.C.%20Mining%20Flow-Through%20Share%20Tax%20Credit. Details of the program and how to claim the credit, are outlined at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pit_001.pdf.


As required by provincial law, the 2014-15 B.C. budget will be brought down on the third Tuesday in February, which this year falls on February 18.
Beginning in September 2013, the provincial government carried out a consultation process with respect to the upcoming 2014-15 budget, and a link to the report on that consultation process can be found at http://www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/finance/index.asp.
Once the budget is released on February 18, the budget papers will be available on the B.C. Finance website at http://www.gov.bc.ca/fin/.


B.C. businesses can access and update account information, correspond with ministry staff, file tax returns and pay taxes through an online service, eTaxBC. A full listing of the tax accounts for which such filing and payment services are available through eTaxBC can be found at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=10B36678012E48D4824B2415E20FFFD8.
In order to use the service, businesses must first register. Registration can be carried out at https://www.etax.gov.bc.ca/btp/eservicesReg/_/#1. A detailed FAQ document about eTaxBC is available at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=942899A2CF4245C98C8F99BC09F261AD&title=eTaxBC%20Frequently%20Asked%20Questions.


The province provides a mining flow-through share tax credit program under which companies can transfer flow-through mining expenditures to their investors who can then claim a non-refundable 20% tax credit in respect of those amounts.

The mining flow-through share tax credit program was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2013. Instead, the provincial government has announced that the program will be extended to apply until December 31, 2014.

The announcement of the extension can be found on the B.C. government website at http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2014/01/10-million-mining-tax-credit-extension-supports-strong-economy-and-jobs.html, and details of the program itself are outlined in a tax bulletin available at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pit_001.pdf


The province of British Columbia levies and pays interest at prescribed rates on underpayments and overpayments of tax with respect to corporation capital tax, logging tax, and insurance premium tax. The rates levied and paid for the first quarter of 2014 are as follows:

Debit Credit
January 1 - March 31, 2014 6.00% 1.00%

A listing of credit and debit rates since 2006 can be found on the British Columbia Small Business and Revenue website at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=4E6B7EEF8F7B482EB07543A0E26486E7&title=Interest%20Rates.


For the 2014 tax year, the province will provide the following non-refundable personal tax credit amounts:

Basic personal amount $9,869
Spouse or common-law partner amount $8,450
Age amount $4,426
Eligible dependant amount $8,450

All credit amounts are converted to non-refundable tax credits by multiplying by 5.06%.


The B.C. government has announced the tax rates and brackets that will apply to individual taxpayers in the province for the 2014 year, and they are as follows:

$0 to $37,606 – 5.06%;
$37,607 to $75,213 - 7.7%;
$75,214 to $86,354 - 10.5%;
$86,355 to $104,858 - 12.29%;
$104,859 to $150,000 – 14.70%; and
Over $150,000 – 16.80%

The province of British Columbia does not impose a personal income tax surtax.


Retroactive changes to the province’s provincial sales tax legislation will be implemented with respect to the exit tax imposed on multi-jurisdictional vehicles (MJVs). Following those changes, which will be retroactive to April 1, 2013, the exit tax will be imposed only when an MJV is licensed for use solely with the province.

Once the amendments are in place, an operator of an MJV who has paid the exit tax in circumstances other than when a vehicle is licenced for use solely within B.C. will be entitled to a refund of the tax paid. In the interim, the exit tax will be collected only when an MJV is licensed for use solely within the province.

The changes are outlined in detail in an updated version of Provincial Sales Tax Bulletin PST 135 – Multijurisdictional Vehicles, which can be found on the B.C. Finance website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pst_135.pdf.


Effective January 1, 2014, a new exemption will be provided with respect to purchases of coloured gasoline and coloured diesel. As of that date, farmers will be entitled to make such purchases exempt from carbon tax, where the fuel is to be used for authorized uses.

For the purpose of the exemption, authorized uses include operating a tractor, a farm truck, or a stationary or portable engine.

The new exemption is outlined (and a full listing of authorized uses provided) in an updated Tax Notice (2013-020), available on the Ministry of Finance website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/notices/notice_2013-20.pdf.

The Notice also provides that, effective January 1, 2014, sellers of coloured gasoline or coloured diesel are not required to collect carbon tax on such fuel sales where the fuel is delivered to a storage tank on farm land, sold from a bulk agent on the farmer’s account, or sold through a cardlock system on the farmer’s account.


The second quarterly report for 2013-14 issued recently by the B.C. Minister of Finance shows that the province remains on target to balance its budget for the year, with a projected year-end surplus of $165 million.

Details of the province’s fiscal picture for the year are outlined in a press release available on the B.C. government website at http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2013/11/province-remains-on-track-to-balance-budget.html, and the full Second Quarter Report can be found on the B.C. Finance website at http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/qrt-rpt/qr13/q2_Nov_2013.pdf.


As announced in this year’s budget, premiums payable under the provincial health care plan will increase, effective January 1, 2014, by about 4%.
As of that date, monthly rates will be $69.25 for one person, $125.50 for a family of two and $138.50 for a family of three or more. From January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2013 monthly rates are $66.50 for one person, $120.50 for a family of two and $133.00 for a family of three or more.
Premium assistance for lower income residents of the province will continue to be provided. Details of both the premium increase and B.C’s premium assistance plan can be found on the provincial government website at http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/msp/infoben/premium.html


The B.C. Ministry of Small Business and Revenue has issued a number of new Tax Bulletins on specific aspects of the application of provincial sales tax (PST) effective April 1, 2013.
The newest of such bulletins summarize the application of PST in the following sectors or industries:
• Bulletin PST 106, Legal Services,
• Bulletin PST 118, Vehicle Services and Parts
• Bulletin PST 130, Fabric and Craft Stores A full listing of all provincial sales tax bulletins can be found on the Ministry of Small Business and Revenue website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/msbr/whats_new/consumer_taxes/whatsnew.htm.


B.C. imposes two taxes in relation to property ownership and transfer: (1) the annual property tax levied on property owners and (2) a property transfer tax imposed where land is bought and sold. The province also provides a property tax deferral option for qualifying taxpayers, a Home Owner Grant which reduces the amount of property tax payable on a principal residence, and a First Time Home Buyers’ Program which reduces or eliminates the amount of property transfer tax payable on the purchase of a first home.
Information on all taxes and programs relating to provincial property taxes can now be accessed on a dedicated webpage, found on the B.C. government website at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=D71BB0FD5C4545448EA52223468F226C.


Under the province’s reinstated sales tax regime, a number of exemptions are provided, for both specified types of goods and particular types of transactions. Changes have recently been made to the regulations governing many of those exemptions, and consequently, a number of sales tax bulletins have been updated to reflect those changes and re-issued by B.C. Finance. The affected bulletins are as follows:

• Bulletin PST 101, Farmers
• Bulletin PST 102, Commercial Fishers
• Bulletin PST 107, Telecommunication Services
• Bulletin PST 110, Production Machinery and Equipment Exemption
• Bulletin PST 111, Mining Industry Bulletin PST 112, Logging Industry
• Bulletin PST 126, Photographers, Videographers and Photofinishers
• Bulletin PST 128, Nurseries and Garden Stores
• Bulletin PST 203, Energy and Energy Conservation
• Bulletin PST 206, Grocery and Drug Stores
• Bulletin PST 207, Medical Supplies and Equipment
• Bulletin PST 314, Exemptions for First Nations


British Columbia imposes a property transfer tax on most transfers of property located within the province, with that tax paid by the purchaser of the property. However, a number of types of property transfers are exempt from that tax, including transfers involving joint tenants and tenants-in-common, transfers following marriage breakdown, and transfers to registered charities. To claim an exemption, a Special Property Transfer Tax Return must be filed and the appropriate exemption code provided.
The B.C. Ministry of Finance has updated and re-issued Bulletin PTT 003, Property Transfer Tax Exemptions, to take account of recent changes to the property transfer tax exemption rules. The updated Bulletin, which is available at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/PTT_003.pdf, outlines changes with respect to transfers resulting from marriage breakdown and property transfers where property reverts to the Crown.


The B.C. Ministry of Finance has issued a Notice (2013-019) for holders of 2013 IFTA licences, which will expire at the end of the calendar year.
The Notice, which can be found on the B.C. Finance website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/notices/notice_2013-019.pdf, indicates that in order for 2014 IFTA licence and decals to be received by January 1, 2014, applications, together with a renewal payment voucher and a renewal fee payment of $100, should be sent to the Ministry by November 25, 2013.
In order to renew an IFTA licence and decals for 2014, an IFTA account must be in good standing, meaning that all required tax returns up to and including the third quarter of 2013 must have been filed and all IFTA balances owing must have been paid.


The B.C. government has launched the consultation process for its 2014-15 budget, which will be brought down during the third week of February, 2014.
As part of that consultation process, the Minister of Finance will be holding a series of town hall meetings across the province during October. Telephone town hall meetings will also be held, but information on the dates, times, and locations of the telephone town hall meetings has not yet been released.
A listing of the dates and locations of the currently scheduled town hall meetings can be found in a news release available at http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/budgetconversation/, and the budget consultation website can be found at http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/budgetconversation/2014_Budget_Consult_Feedback_PRESS.pdf


B.C. levies both an 8% provincial sales tax (PST) and a 2% municipal and regional district tax (MRDT) on sales of short-term accommodation in the province. With the reinstatement of the provincial sales tax, the 8% tax previously known as the hotel room tax has been incorporated into the PST.
While the PST is levied on sales of short-term accommodation throughout the province, the 2% MRDT is charged only in participating areas to raise revenue for local tourism marketing, programs, and projects.
The B.C. Ministry of Small Business and Revenue has updated a guide for accommodation providers in the province, which outlines the types of accommodations subject to both taxes and the registration and remittance requirements for both PST and MRDT. The full bulletin, which includes a listing of participating areas for purposes of the MRDT, can be found at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/brochures/PST_MRDT_Guide_Accommodation.pdf


A new form to be used by provincial residents claiming a refund of provincial sales tax paid on purchases or leases of eligible production machinery or equipment has been issued by B.C. Finance.

The new form, FIN355/PME, which can be found at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/forms/0355pmefill.pdf, would be used by those who purchased or leased such equipment for exempt purposes after March 31, 2013. Eligible persons would include those in the manufacturing and processing, oil and gas, mining, logging, and software development industries. Links to tax bulletins which outline the exemption qualifications for each of those industries are provided in the form.


The province of British Columbia levies and pays interest at prescribed rates on underpayments and overpayments of tax with respect to corporation capital tax, logging tax, and insurance premium tax. The rates levied and paid for 2013 are as follows:


Debit Credit
January 1 - March 31, 2013 6.00% 1.00%
April 1 – June 30, 2013 6.00% 1.00%
July 1 – September 30, 2013 6.00% 1.00%
October 1 – December 31, 2013 6.00% 1.00%

A listing of credit and debit rates since 2006 can be found on the British Columbia Small Business and Revenue website at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=4E6B7EEF8F7B482EB07543A0E26486E7&title=Interest%20Rates..


On October 1, 2013, British Columbia’s tobacco tax will be increased to 22.3 cents per cigarette or gram of loose tobacco. In anticipation of the change, two new tobacco tax forms have been issued by B.C. Finance

The first such form is FIN 125, "Collector's Return", and second is FIN 227, "Wholesale Dealer's Inventory Return". Form FIN 225, "Retail Dealer's Inventory Return", has also been updated and will be sent to taxpayers by mail. Taxpayers can also contact the Ministry at 250 387 9115 to obtain a return form. The deadline for filing of the "Wholesale Dealer’s Inventory Return" (FIN 227) is October 30, 2013.


A new sales tax notice (2013-011) has been issued by B.C. Finance outlining the application of the reinstated provincial sales tax (PST) to sales of off-road vehicles (ORVs), including snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and dirt bikes. That notice outlines the following rules with respect to the purchase and sale of ORVs, whether in the province or outside B.C.

• Where a taxpayer acquires an ORV from a seller or lessor who is registered to collect PST, the seller or lessor will collect the PST payable on the ORV unless a specific exemption applies.

• Where a taxpayer purchases an ORV at a private sale in BC, he or she is required to pay the PST, unless a specific exemption applies.

• A taxpayer who acquires an ORV outside of BC and then brings or otherwise arranges for the delivery of the ORV in the province is required to pay PST unless a specific exemption applies.

• A taxpayer who has already purchased or brought an ORV into BC and has not yet paid PST is required to self-assess the PST payable.

The Notice, which is available on the B.C. Finance website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/notices/notice_2013-011.pdf, notes that PST is levied regardless of whether or not the ORV is required to be registered.


British Columbia continues to release information bulletins on how the recently (April 2013) re-instated provincial sales tax will apply to various industries in the province. The latest of such bulletins addresses the application of the tax to businesses in the logging industry. The new bulletin, PST 112, which can be found at  http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pst_112.pdf, covers the following topics:

• Qualifying for the PM&E (Production Machinery and Equipment) exemption;

• Parts, materials and services for PM&E;

• Claiming the PM&E exemption;

• Other exemptions;

• Taxable goods; and

• Equipment brought into B.C.


Effective October 1, 2013, the province’s tobacco tax rates will increase to:

• $44.60 per carton of 200 cigarettes from $42.60 (the increase of $2 per carton equals 20¢ per package of 20 cigarettes); and

• 22.3¢ per gram of loose tobacco from 21.3¢

There is no change to the tobacco tax imposed on cigars.

As part of the change, the B.C. Ministry of Small Business and Revenue has issued two new Tax Notices. Tax Notice 2013-18, which is available at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/notices/notice_2013-018.pdf provides necessary information for retail dealers about the requirement to complete and submit an inventory return for tobacco held in inventory as of midnight on September 30, 2013. Similar information for Tobacco Wholesale Dealers is outlined in Tax Bulletin 2013-17, which can be found at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/notices/notice_2013-017.pdf.


A new series of interactive webinars providing information on transitioning to the provincial sales tax (PST) system has been announced by B.C. Finance. The webinar topics include general PST application, registration, and the new online services option, eTaxBC. The dates and times of upcoming seminars are as follows, and registration for those seminars can be done at: www.gov.bc.ca/pstoutreach.

• Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

• Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

• Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

• Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The B.C. Finance press release announcing the seminar series is available at http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2013/08/new-webinars-help-bc-businesses-with-return-to-pst-2.html.


Three new provincial sales tax (PST) bulletins have been issued by B.C. Finance. Links to those Bulletins, and the subject matter covered by each, are as follows.

Bulletin PST 206, Grocery and Drug Stores, has been revised to include updated information about how the PST applies to containers, packaging, and promotional materials.

Bulletin PST 126, Photographers, Videographers, and Photofinishers, is a new bulletin that provides information to help photographers, videographers, and photofinishers understand how the PST applies to their businesses.

Bulletin PST 111, Mining Industry, is a new bulletin that provides information on how the PST applies to businesses in the mining industry.

A listing of all Tax Bulletins relating to application of the recently re-instated provincial sales tax can be found at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/msbr/whats_new/consumer_taxes/whatsnew.htm


Two provincial income tax bulletins dealing with the province’s Training Tax Credit program have been updated and re-issued. The Bulletins were revised to include updated information about programs eligible for the credits.

The refundable credits may be claimed by apprentices as well as their employers, including corporations, partnerships, and self-employed individuals. Information on the credit claimed by apprentices is available at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pit_002.pdf, while information on the employer credit and on the program generally can be found at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/TTC/TrainingTaxCreditTableforEmployers.pdfand orhttp://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/cit_013.pdf.


The B.C. government will be holding a series of webinars over the summer months to assist businesses in the province with the transition from the previous harmonized sales tax regime to a goods and services tax/provincial sales tax system.

The interactive webinar will cover the general principles of the PST and the new eTaxBC online business registration service. Registration and additional information is available at www.gov.bc.ca/pstoutreach.

Webinars are scheduled for:

• Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

• Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

More information about the webinar series can be found on the B.C. Ministry of Finance website at http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2013/07/new-webinars-help-bc-businesses-with-return-to-pst-1.html.


Effective immediately, The B.C. government has announced the creation of a new $1,200 B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant.

The Grant will be available to children of B.C. born on or after January 1, 2007, for whom a registered education savings plan (RESP) has been set up. When a qualifying child turns 6 years old, the B.C. government will deposit the $1,200 grant into that child’s RESP.

More details on the new grant program can be found in a B.C. government press release available at http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2013/06/start-saving-early-with-the-bc-training-and-education-savings-plan.html.


The British Columbia Ministry of Small Business and Revenue has updated and re-issued its existing Bulletin GEN 003, Appeals of Tax Assessments, Disallowed Refunds or Other Determinations.

The update, which included renumbering and renaming, now includes information on appeals under the Provincial Sales Tax Act.

This bulletin is now GEN002, Appeals, and can be found on the Ministry of Small Business and Revenue website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/gen_002.pdf.


The province of British Columbia levies and pays interest at prescribed rates on underpayments and overpayments of tax with respect to corporation capital tax, logging tax, and insurance premium tax. The rates levied and paid for the first three quarters of 2013 are as follows:

Debit Credit
January 1 - March 31, 2013 6.00% 1.00%
April 1 – June 30, 2013 6.00% 1.00%
July 1 – September 30, 2013 6.00% 1.00%

A listing of credit and debit rates since 2006 can be found on the British Columbia Small Business and Revenue Web site at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=4E6B7EEF8F7B482EB07543A0E26486E7&title=Interest%20Rates.


B.C. Finance continues to issue information bulletins outlining how the recently reinstated provincial sales tax (PST) will apply to specific groups of taxpayers or specific types of transactions.

The latest such release, Bulletin PST 004, Direct Sellers and Independent Sales Contractors, provides information on the unique PST registration and collection method that applies to direct sellers and independent sale contactors (ISCs). As well, Bulletin MFT-CT 005, Tax Rates on Fuels, has been updated for changes that resulted from the reimplementation of the PST.


B.C. Finance has issued a new bulletin dealing with the application of the new provincial sales tax when a vehicle is acquired by a resident of the province.

The bulletin, which can be found at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pst_308.pdf, covers vehicles purchased in BC, vehicles acquired outside BC that are brought into the province, and vehicles acquired as a gift. A separate bulletin, Bulletin PST 116, is being developed to provide information on sales and leases of vehicles by motor vehicle dealers and leasing companies, but that bulletin is not yet available.


The B.C. Ministry of Small Business and Revenue has prepared and issued a guide for businesses on how to complete a return for the provincial sales tax that was reinstated on April 1, 2013.

The guide, which can be found at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=297F92DCA4124EFE9340290B76CD8487&title=Guide%20to%20Completing%20the%20PST%20Return, provides an overview of how return forms will be distributed to B.C. businesses, how to complete each information box on the provincial sales tax return worksheet, and how businesses can file the return (electronically or in hard copy) and remit any amounts owed.


On June 25 at 2 p.m., the CRA will be holding a webinar to provide information and take questions on the topic of the political activities of charities. Registration for the webinar (which is being conducted by an outside contractor) can be done at http://www1.webcastcanada.ca/cra-arc/index-eng.php. The webinar will deal with information provided in the CRA’s policy statement on the subject (CPS-022), and that policy statement can be found at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/plcy/cps/cps-022-eng.html.

More information about the CRA’s webinar program, including a list of FAQs and information on how to view previous webinars, can be found at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/cmmnctn/wbnrs/rgstrtn-eng.html?rss.


British Columbia provides a Home Owner Grant (HOG) program to help offset the cost of property taxes on residential properties in the province (within certain prescribed limits).

The B.C. Ministry of Small Business and Revenue recently issued a Bulletin on the application of the HOG to multi-dwelling leased parcels. Thet Bulletin, which outlines the eligibility requirements for such properties and the documentation needed to be provided as part of any grant application, can be found on the Ministry’s website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/hog_008.pdf.


As part of the province's transition back to a goods and services tax/provincial sales tax (PST) system, the B.C. Ministry of Small Business and Revenue continues to issue information bulletins on how the new system will apply to various sectors and types of goods.

Three such new publications have recently been released. The first, Bulletin PST 110, Production Machinery and Equipment Exemption, provides information on how the production machinery and equipment exemption applies to activities of companies involved in certain power generation activities. Bulletin PST 207, Medical Supplies and Equipment, provides information on how the PST applies to medical supplies and equipment, and to purchases by medical suppliers and service providers. The province has also issued FIN 493, Certificate of Exemption–Subcontractor, which provides an exemption from PST for certain purchasers as of April 1, 2013.


British Columbia provides its taxpayers with the option to defer payment of property taxes until a later date through a low-interest loan. This property tax deferment program is available to qualifying seniors, disabled property owners, and qualifying families with dependent minors or, in certain circumstances, dependent children over the age of 18. The qualifications to participate in the program differ for each category of applicants.

The province has now posted on its Web site the application forms, agreements, and guides for the 2013 property deferment program for all classes of applicants. These documents can be found at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/msbr/whats_new/property_taxes/whatsnew.htm.


Recent changes to the B.C. Small Business and Revenue website will allow accountants, bookkeepers, and other third-party tax preparers to view, file, and pay provincial sales tax (PST) and municipal and regional district tax returns on-line on behalf of their clients.

The notice of the additional services now available can be found at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/msbr/whats_new/consumer_taxes/whatsnew.htm. Those services are provided as part of eTaxBC, and the general website for eTaxBC is http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=F0286C9DAB6B4015AB5559A8B12850DF For eTaxBC information specific to third-party tax preparers, visit http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=D624B0BDA289433FB585AF576D7E29A3&title=eTaxBC%20Guide%20for%20Third-Party%20Tax%20Preparers


The B.C. government provides a Home Owner Grant which helps offset the cost of property taxes for qualifying homeowners in the province. There are two categories of grants: the regular grant can reduce such taxes by up to $570, while the additional grant can provide a tax reduction of up to $845. A homeowner can qualify for one grant or the other, but not both.

B.C. Finance has recently updated and re-issued a number of its publications relating to the Home Owner Grant. The new publications and links to their locations on the B.C. government Web site are as follows

• Bulletin HOG 001, ,Home Owner Grant Program

• Information Sheet 2007-01,Home Owner Grant Low-Income Grant Supplement Program

• Information Sheet 2012-01, Home Owner Grant Veterans Supplement


In this year’s provincial budget, the B.C. government announced that the industrial property tax credit, which reduces school tax otherwise payable by Class 5 (light industry) and Class 4 (major industry) properties in the province, would be phased out.

The phase-out will take place over a two-year period, with the value of the credit declining from 60% to 30% for 2013, and to zero for the 2014 tax year

More information on the phase-out of the credit can be found on the property tax page of the B.C. Finance Web site at  http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/business/Property_Taxes/School_Property_Tax/exemptions.htm.


On April 1, 2013, British Columbia returned to a goods and services tax/provincial sales tax (GST/PST) system. The province has now issued a guide to the current provincial sales tax system for B.C. small businesses.

The new guide, which can be found on the B.C. government website at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/brochures/SmallBusinessGuide.pdf. deals with the taxable/non-taxable status of particular goods and services, who must register and how to register for PST, remittance and payment procedures and requirements, audits and appeals, and how to obtain PST rulings.

The government has also indicated that it will be preparing an online guide to the preparation of a PST return. When that guide is available, it will be found at  http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=69DD487E7C9946E580679ACBF38C4D2C, , where the return form is already available.


For the 2013 tax year, the province will provide the following non-refundable personal tax credit amounts:

Basic personal amount………………………………………………… $10,276

Spouse or common-law partner amount ………………    $8,860

Age amount ……………………………………………………………………   $4,421

Eligible dependant amount ………………………………………   $8,860

All credit amounts are converted to non-refundable tax credits by multiplying by 5.06%.


The province of British Columbia levies and pays interest at prescribed rates on underpayments and overpayments of tax with respect to corporation capital tax, logging tax, and insurance premium tax. The rates levied and paid for the first quarter of 2013 are as follows:


Debit Credit
January 1 - March 31, 2013 6.00% 1.00%

A listing of credit and debit rates since 2006 can be found on the British Columbia Small Business and Revenue website at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=4E6B7EEF8F7B482EB07543A0E26486E7&title=Interest%20Rates.



The province of British Columbia levies and pays interest at prescribed rates on underpayments and overpayments of tax with respect to corporation capital tax, logging tax, and insurance premium tax. The rates levied and paid for the first quarter of 2013 are as follows:


Debit Credit
January 1 - March 31, 2013 6.00% 1.00%

A listing of credit and debit rates since 2006 can be found on the provincial government Web site at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=4E6B7EEF8F7B482EB07543A0E26486E7&title=Interest%20Rates.



For 2013, British Columbia will levy a general corporate tax rate of 10.0%. The small business threshold is $500,000, and qualifying small business income under that threshold is taxed at a rate of 2.5%. The province of British Columbia does not provide a preferential tax rate for income from manufacturing and processing activity

An outline of British Columbia corporate tax rates for 2013 is available at  http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/business/Income_Taxes/Corporation_Income_Tax/tax_rates.htm.



The B.C. government has announced the tax rates and brackets that will apply to individual taxpayers in the province for the 2013 year, and they are as follows.

• 5.06% on the first $37,568 of taxable income;

• 7.7% on the next $37,570;

• 10.5% on the next $11,130;

• 12.29% on the next $18,486; and

• 14.7% on the amount over $104,754.

The province of British Columbia does not impose a personal income tax surtax.


The federal Department of Finance has released the July issue of The Fiscal Monitor, which summarizes federal government financial results for the first quarter (April, May and June) of the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The budgetary deficit for the first quarter stood at $4.5 billion, compared with a deficit of $4.2 billion reported in the same period of 2012–13. Revenues, across all revenue streams, were up $2.1 billion, while program expenses rose by $2.6 billion. The increase in program expenses was attributed by the Department of Finance to increases in major transfers to persons and other levels of government, as well as direct program expenses.

According the news release announcing the first quarter results, which can be found on the Department of Finance website at http://www.fin.gc.ca/n13/13-126-eng.asp, the outlook for this fiscal year remains on track with the projection set out in the 2013-14 federal budget.


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced the interest rates which will be charged and paid by the federal government during the months of October, November, and December 2013. Those rates are as follows.

• The interest rate charged on overdue taxes, Canada Pension Plan contributions, and Employment Insurance premiums will be 6%.

• The interest rate to be paid on corporate taxpayer overpayments will be 2%.

• The interest rate to be paid on non-corporate taxpayer overpayments will be 4%.

• The interest rate used to calculate taxable benefits for employees and shareholders from interest-free and low-interest loans will be 2%.

• The interest rate used to calculate corporate taxpayers loans or indebtedness will be 5.02%.

More information on rates charged or paid under other federal government programs is available in the CRA release, available on the CRA website athttp://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/rlss/2013/m09/nr130923-eng.html?rss.


The most recent release of Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Survey shows a small decrease in the overall inflation rate in the month of August.

The latest data shows that overall prices rose by 1.1% during August, as measured on a year-over-year basis. The year-over-year inflation rate for July was 1.3%.

Shelter costs and the cost of transportation which rose by, respectively, 1.1% and 1.3%, were major contributors to inflation during August.

A full analysis of the inflation picture for the month, by component and by province, is contained in the StatsCan report, available on the Agency’s website at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130920/dq130920a-eng.htm.


The CRA communicates with taxpayers either in person, by telephone, or by regular mail. The CRA does not, however, communicate by e-mail, which it views as not sufficiently secure for the transmission of private tax information.

The CRA has now launched a program through which businesses can receive private communications from the Agency through the CRA website. Using that program, businesses can currently receive notices of assessment and reassessment and some letters online for the accounts which they select (e.g., corporate tax and GST/HST accounts). More types of correspondence, including payroll-related mail, will be available online in the future.

The CRA’s announcement of the service can be found at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/rlss/2013/m09/nr130906-eng.html?rss. Businesses which wish to register for that service can do so at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/esrvc-srvce/tx/bsnss/ygm-eng.html.


Under legislation passed earlier this year, new reporting requirements will apply to “reportable transactions” (which are generally defined as transactions entered into in order to avoid paying taxes).

The new requirements apply to affected transactions entered into after 2010 and provide that Form RC312, "Reportable Transaction Information Return", available at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/rc312/rc312-13e.pdf must be filed by June 30 of the year after the one in which the reportable transaction first took place.

The CRA has announced that the filing due date for information returns for the 2010, 2011, and 2012 calendar years has been administratively extended. All such returns are now due by October 23, 2013.

The CRA release announcing the administrative extension can be found on the Agency’s website at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/fctshts/2013/m08/fs130830-eng.html?rss.


Electronic suppression of sales (ESS) software selectively deletes or modifies sales transactions in point-of-sales and business accounting systems, leaving no record of the original transaction. Under proposals announced in this year’s federal budget, businesses that use, possess, or acquire ESS software will face monetary penalties of $5,000 on a first infraction, and $50,000 on any subsequent infraction. Higher penalties (including criminal charges) may be levied against those who develop, manufacture, or sell such software.

A full outline of the possible offences and related penalties can be found in a CRA news release, available on the Agency’s website at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/rlss/2013/m09/nr130911-eng.html?rss.


The federal government has announced that Employment Insurance (EI) premiums, which had been expected to increase in 2014 and 2015, will instead be frozen until 2017.

EI premiums are paid by both employees and employers. The freeze means that EI premiums will continue to be levied on employees at the current rate of $1.88 per $100 of insurable earnings. Employer premiums are set at 1.4 times the amount of employee premiums.

The announcement of the freeze in EI rates can be found on the Finance Canada website at http://www.fin.gc.ca/n13/13-114-eng.asp.


The most recent release of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey indicates that overall employment increased by 59,000 (mostly in part-time work) during the month of August, resulting in a 0.1 percentage point drop in the unemployment rate. As of the end of August, that rate stood at 7.1%.

The gains were not uniform across the country, as employment increased in Ontario and Alberta, while declining in Manitoba. The StatsCan report did indicate, however, that both total employment and the number of hours worked have increased since August 2012.

The August issue of the Labour Force Survey, which breaks down the employment figures by province, demographic group, and economic sector, can be found on the StatsCan website at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130906/dq130906a-eng.htm.


The Department of Finance has released the June 2013 issue of The Fiscal Monitor which summarizes federal government financial results for the first quarter (April to June) of the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The latest issue of the publication indicates that the federal government posted a budgetary deficit of $2.6 billion for the first fiscal quarter, down slightly from the $2.8 billion deficit recorded for the same period in 2012-13. While overall revenues were up by 4.3% (or $2.7 billion), program expenses also rose by 4.5%, (or $2.6 billion). 

Full details of the fiscal record for the quarter can be found in the current issue of The Fiscal Monitor, available on the Finance Canada website at http://www.fin.gc.ca/n13/13-109-eng.asp..


In its latest interest rate decision, the Bank of Canada has determined that no change to current rates is required.  The bank rate accordingly remains at 1.25% where it has stood since September 2010.

The analysis provided by the Bank detailing the reasons for its decision would seem to indicate that interest rates may remain at current levels for some time. Specifically, the Bank noted that inflation in Canada remains subdued and that "uncertain global economic conditions appear to be delaying the anticipated rotation of demand in Canada towards exports and investment". As long as those conditions exist, the Bank’s view is that the low interest rates currently in place will remain appropriate.   

The press release announcing the Bank’s decision can be found at  http://www.bankofcanada.ca/2013/09/publications/press-releases/fad-press-release-2013-09-04/.


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has provided updated information for charitable organizations in two areas.

The first update is a policy statement (CG-021, available at  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/plcy/cgd/hlth-eng.html?rss ) which outlines the CRA’s position on how it interprets and applies the law as it relates to the promotion of health and charitable registration. The new statement represents a consolidation and replacement of several previously issued policy statements dealing with specific issues in health and health promotion.  

The second release by the CRA is an updated web page (found at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/prtng/chngs/mlgmtns-mrgrs-cnsldtns-eng.html?rss ) which outlines the rules governing amalgamations, consolidations, and mergers of organizations operating as registered charities.


The most recent issue of Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index indicates that the overall inflation rate for the month of July stood at 1.3%, as measured on a year-over-year basis. The year-over-year rate for June was 1.2%.

Once again, the largest contributor to the rate of inflation was transportation costs, especially the cost of gasoline, which rose by 6.1%, as measured on a year-over-year basis. Increases in the price of gasoline were recorded in every province during the month of July. 

Details of the inflation picture for the month, by province and by component, can be found on the Statistics Canada website at  http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130823/dq130823a-eng.htm?HPA


The Canada Revenue Agency continues to streamline and consolidate its phone enquiry services. The most recent of such announcements indicates that, effective September 30, 2013, the direct line to the Summerside Tax Centre which provided responses to GST/HST rebate enquiries will be turned off.

As of October 1, 2013, all such GST/HST rebate enquiries will be directed to the general Business Enquiries lines. The numbers for Business  

Enquiries are:

1-800-959-5525 (English) 

1-800-959-7775 (French) 

1-613-940-8497 (from outside Canada and the U.S.)

The announcement of the change can be found in the Summer 2013 of the Excise GST/HST News (No. 89), which is available at   http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/gr/news89/news89-e.pdf


The Canada Revenue Agency has announced that it will no longer require applications for GST/HST rebates to include original supporting documentation. As part of its red tape reduction initiatives, the Agency will, where documentation is required, accept photocopies, faxes, and CDs with scanned images of receipts, invoices, or similar documents. Applicants must, however, keep the original documents for a period of six years.

The announcement of the change in administrative policy was included in the most recent release of the CRA’s Excise and GST/HST News (No. 89), which can be found on the Agency’s website at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/gr/news89/news89-e.pdf


The most recent release of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey indicates that a loss of 39,000 jobs during the month of July pushed the overall unemployment rate up by 0.1 percentage points to 7.2%.

The employment decline was concentrated among younger Canadians, especially those aged 15 to 24, a result which Statistics Canada attributed to less hiring this summer as compared to previous years. The other group to experience a decline in employment during July was women aged 55 and older.

The full Labour Force Survey, which includes analysis of the employment picture for the month by province, by sector, and by demographic group can be found on the StatsCan website at  http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130809/dq130809a-eng.htm


The Bank of Canada has issued a notice listing the dates during 2014 on which scheduled interest rate announcements will occur. Eight of such announcements are scheduled to be made yet the Bank can make additional announcements or alter that schedule as it deems necessary.

The Bank’s news release, which can be found on its website at  http://www.bankofcanada.ca/2013/07/publications/press-releases/bofc-publishes-2014-schedule-fad-and-mpr-releases/ , also re-confirms that interest rate announcements for the balance of 2013 will be made on the following dates:

. Wednesday September 4, 2013

. Wednesday October 23, 2013

. Wednesday December 4, 2013


In this year’s budget, the federal government announced that a charitable donation “super credit” would be provided for donations made after March 20, 2013 and before 2018. For that five-year period, taxpayers who claim the super credit will receive a 25% credit on the first $1,000 of monetary donations in addition to the regular charitable donations tax credit. The super credit is available to taxpayers who have not claimed the charitable donations tax credit in any of the previous five years.

The CRA has now created and posted on its website a calculator allowing would-be donors to calculate the amount of total tax credit which would be available to taxpayers in each province or territory. That calculator, which can be found at  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/dnrs/svngs/clmng1b2-eng.html?rss/ , separately calculates the regular federal and applicable provincial or territorial donation which may be claimed, as well as the super credit.


The most recent release of Statistics Canada's Consumer Price Index indicates that inflation rose by 1.2% during the month of June, following on a 0.7% rise recorded for May.

The major contributor to inflation for the month of June was transportation costs, which includes both the price of gasoline, which rose 4.6%, as measured on a year-over-year basis, as well as increases in the cost of passenger vehicles.

The full analysis of the inflation picture for the month, by province and by sector, can be found in the June issue of the Consumer Price Index, which is available on the StatsCan website at  http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130719/dq130719a-eng.htm?HPA


In its regularly scheduled interest rate announcement released on July 17, the Bank of Canada indicated that there would be no change in the bank rate, which remains at 1.25%.

In making its decision, the Bank noted that, as long as the current "weakness" in core inflation persists and there is significant slack in the Canadian economy, interest rates are likely to be maintained at current levels.

The press release announcing the Bank's decision can be found on its website at http://www.bankofcanada.ca/2013/07/publications/press-releases/fad-press-release-2013-07-17/ The next scheduled interest rate announcement will take place on September 4, 2013.


In 2007, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) implemented legislation which required it to delay paying rebates and refunds until all required returns had been filed. The implementation of that legislation created a significant administrative burden for certain corporate entities in the non-profit sector, including municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals, Indian band councils, and federal Crown corporations. As such entities are exempt from federal income tax, many had not filed corporate tax returns for previous years.

To ease the resulting administrative burden on affected taxpayers, the CRA subsequently determined that refunds and rebates, as a matter of administrative practice, would not be withheld from corporations which had not filed returns as required. Following a review process, the CRA has determined that this administrative practice will become CRA policy for an indefinite time period.

The CRA release announcing the new policy, which is available at  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/fctshts/2012/m04/fs120425-eng.html?bsnrss , notes that while refunds and rebates will not be withheld because of outstanding returns, the Agency’s position does not relieve affected taxpayers of the responsibility to file returns on an annual basis.


The most recent release of Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey shows that employment was virtually unchanged for the month of June, and that, consequently, there was no change in the unemployment rate, which remained at 7.1%.

The figures for June show that there was little change in employment among the major demographic groups. On a geographic basis, employment was up in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, while declines were recorded in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

More details of the employment picture for the month, by province and by economic sector, can be found in the July release of the Labor Force Survey, available on the StatsCan website at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130705/dq130705a-eng.htm


All Canadians are required to report and pay tax on their worldwide income. Individuals who hold foreign property having a cost of over $100,000 must also disclose that fact on the annual return and file a Form T1135 providing details.

Starting with the 2013 taxation year, Canadians who hold foreign property with a cost of over $100,000 will be required to provide additional information to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The criteria for those who must file a Foreign Income Verification Statement (Form T1135) has not changed; however, the new form has been revised to include more detailed information on foreign property.

Increased reporting requirements include:

. the name of the specific foreign institution or other entity holding funds outside Canada;

. the specific country to which the foreign property relates; and

. the income generated from the foreign property.

The CRA press release announcing the new requirements can be found on the Agency's website at  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/rlss/2013/m06/nr130625-eng.html?rss


As of June 21, 2013, federally regulated financial institutions are no longer permitted to send unsolicited credit card cheques to their credit card clients.

Credit card cheques are treated as cash advances on the credit card, and such advances typically incur high interest rates, as well as fees. Interest is charged on cash advances from the day the cash advance is taken or the cheque cashed, without the benefit of any interest-free grace period.

Such cheques may still be issued by a financial institution, but only with the consent of the particular card holder.

The Department of Finance press release outlining the change can be found at  http://www.fin.gc.ca/n13/13-089-eng.asp


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has issued a news release reminding Canadians that taxpayer relief measures are available to those affected by the recent floods in the Prairie provinces.

While the news release specifically identifies corporations which are required to file their T2 income tax returns for the 2012 year by July 2 as being eligible for such relief, it also notes that all Canadians have access to the CRA’s taxpayer relief measures if they miss a filing or payment deadline because their lives have been disrupted by natural disasters.

The news release, which can be found on the CRA website at  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/rlss/2013/m06/nr130622-eng.html?rss , contains a link to the webpage providing details of the taxpayer relief program.


The most recent release of Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index indicates that the inflation rate for the month of May, as measured on a year-over-year basis, stood at 0.7%, following a 0.4% increase for the month of April.

The main contributor to the inflation rate for May was higher shelter costs, particularly the cost of natural gas, which increased 15.4% on a year-over-year basis.

Details of the inflation picture for the month can be found in the May 2013 issue of the Consumer Price Index, available on the Statistics Canada website at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130621/dq130621a-eng.htm


The CRA does not communicate with Canadian taxpayers via e-mail, which it views as insufficiently secure for the transmission of private tax information. However, a recent CRA initiative means that Canadian businesses will now be able to receive some of their "mail" from the CRA online.

The CRA has sent information cards to Canadian businesses to inform them of the new initiative. Businesses which are registered for My Business Account and which opt for the new service will have certain types of CRA mail (for example, a GST/HST Notice of Assessment) posted in their online account. They will also receive an e-mail from the CRA, letting them know that there is new mail for them to view in that online account.

More information about the CRA initiative can be found on the Agency's Web site at  http://www.cra.gc.ca/businessonline


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced the interest rates which will be charged and paid by the federal government during the months of July, August, and September 2013. Those rates are as follows.

  • The interest rate charged on overdue taxes, Canada Pension Plan contributions, and Employment Insurance premiums will be 5%.
  • The interest rate to be paid on corporate taxpayers overpayments will be 1%.
  • The interest rate to be paid on non-corporate taxpayers overpayments will be 3%.
  • The interest rate used to calculate taxable benefits for employees and shareholders from interest-free and low-interest loans will be 1%.

More information on rates charged or paid under other federal government programs is available in the CRA release, available on the CRA Web site at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/rlss/2013/m06/nr130613-eng.html?rss.


On June 25 at 2 p.m., the CRA will be holding a webinar to provide information and take questions on the topic of the political activities of charities. Registration for the webinar (which is being conducted by an outside contractor) can be done at http://www1.webcastcanada.ca/cra-arc/index-eng.php. The webinar will deal with information provided in the CRA’s policy statement on the subject (CPS-022), and that policy statement can be found at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/plcy/cps/cps-022-eng.html.

More information about the CRA’s webinar program, including a list of FAQs and information on how to view previous webinars, can be found at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/cmmnctn/wbnrs/rgstrtn-eng.html?rss.


A sharp rise in job creation pushed the unemployment rate for May down by 0.1 percentage points, from 7.2% to 7.1%.

The increase of 95,000 jobs during the month, the majority of them in full time work, was fairly broad-based. Employment figures improved for both the 15-24 year age group and for those over the age of 55. There was little year-over-year change in student summer employment figures.

More details of the employment picture for the month, by province and by sector, can be found in the most recent issue of Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey, available on the Agency's Web site at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130607/dq130607a-eng.htm?HPA.


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has issued a reminder to self-employed Canadians and their spouses that their income tax returns for the 2012 taxation year are due on or before midnight on Monday June 17. Any taxes owed for that year were due and payable on or before April 30, 2013.

The Agency's NETFILE service for filing of 2012 returns continues to be available. A listing of all online services for individuals can be found on the CRA Web site at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/esrvc-srvce/tx/ndvdls/menu-eng.html.


In this year’s budget, the federal government announced that the labour sponsored venture capital tax credit program would be phased out over the next few years. The current credit of 15% on qualifying investments of up to $5,000 each year in labour-sponsored venture capital corporations (LSVCCs) is to be reduced to 10% for the 2015 tax year and 5% for 2016. No credit would be provided for investments in existing LSVCCs made after 2016.

The budget also indicated that a public consultation process would be undertaken to assist LSVCCs with an orderly phase-out of the credit. This consultation process has now started, and the federal government is seeking input with respect to rules related to investment requirements, wind-ups, redemptions, and other rules governing the operation of existing LSVCCs.

Any submissions made must be provided by July 23, 2013. The mailing address and fax number to which submissions can be sent are outlined in the federal government press release, which can be found at http://www.fin.gc.ca/n13/13-072-eng.asp.


In its regularly scheduled interest rate announcement made on May 29, the Bank of Canada indicated that it will be maintaining interest rates at their current level of 1.25%, where it has stood since September 2010.

In its press release available on the Bank’s website at http://www.bankofcanada.ca/2013/05/press-releases/fad-press-release-2013-05-29/, the Bank indicated that while growth in the Canadian economy during the first quarter was stronger than projected, growth over the entire year is expected to remain in line with the Bank’s forecast. Core inflation is also seen to be in line with the Bank’s expectations while overall increases in the Consumer Price Index have been slightly weaker than projected.

Overall, with continued slack in the Canadian economy and a “muted” outlook for inflation, it is expected that the current low interest rates will likely remain appropriate for “a period of time”. The Bank’s next scheduled interest rate announcement date is July 17, 2013.


Changes in federal and/or provincial individual tax rates often take effect halfway through the calendar year, on July 1. Consequently, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) usually revises and re-releases its employer source deduction tables and programs as of that date, to ensure that employee source deductions made during the second half of the year accurately reflect any changes in tax payable.

The CRA has now released its T4127-JUL Payroll Deductions Formulas for Computer Programs, which takes effect July 1, 2013. The updated material can be found on the CRA Web site at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/t4127-jul/README.html.


At this time, millions of Canadians are being reached by the Canada Revenue Agency through either a request for additional information needed for assessments filed for the 2012 taxation year, a Notice of Assessment for that 2012 return, or perhaps a refund of taxes paid for 2012.

The fact that most Canadians are expecting to hear from the CRA at this time makes it easier for those sending out fraudulent communications purporting to be from the Agency. These lies are to the detriment of the taxpayers who receive and respond to such communications. The CRA has posted on its website a listing of the ways in which it does and does not communicate with taxpayers and how to handle communications purporting to be from the CRA. For example, the CRA does not and never has contacted taxpayers by e-mail. E-mail claiming to be from the CRA should be deleted without reply.

That information, including links to examples of recent fraudulent communications, can be found on the CRA website at  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/ntcs/bwr-eng.html.


The Notice of Assessment issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for each individual income tax return filed no longer includes information on the taxpayer’s current year tax-free savings account (TFSA) contribution room.

Taxpayers who wish to obtain that information can do so online at http://www.cra.gc.ca/quickaccess or by calling the CRA’s Tax Information Phone Service (TIPS) at 1-800-267-6999. The Agency has also recently issued a worksheet which can be used to calculate an individual’s current year contribution limit.

That worksheet, which includes instructions to its completion as well as information on circumstances in which it should not be used, is available on the CRA website at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/rc343/rc343-13e.pdf.


Although the April 30 filing deadline for 2012 individual income tax returns has passed (save for self-employed individuals and their spouses whom have until June 17 to file), the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) NETFILE service remains available for the filing of 2012 returns.

The CRA's NETFILE service can be found on the Agency's Web site at http://www.netfile.gc.ca/menu-eng.html. Taxpayers who wish to NETFILE returns for 2012 will not need an access code to use the service but will be required to provide their social insurance number and date of birth.

The NETFILE service will be available until November 30, 2013.


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers a taxpayer relief program which allows the Agency to waive interest amounts or penalties which would normally be assessed. Such a waiver is provided where circumstances beyond the control of an individual taxpayer prevent him or her from meeting tax filing and payment obligations.

The CRA has issued a news release reminding taxpayers who have been affected by this year’s spring floods that they may benefit from the taxpayer relief provisions, in cases where those floods have prevented them from meeting their tax obligations.

The CRA news release can be found at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/rlss/2013/m04/nr130430b-eng.html, and details of the circumstances in which relief can be provided and how to apply is available at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/cmplntsdspts/cnclwvpnlty/menu-eng.html.


For many years, the Canada Revenue Agency issued and periodically updated tax technical publications known as Information Bulletins (ITs), which provided the Agency’s views on various personal and corporate income tax topics. In recent years, ITs have been updated much less frequently as the CRA moved toward providing tax information through its website.

The CRA has now announced that it has created a new tax technical information product known as Income Tax Folios. This new product will gradually, over the next several years, replace the current ITs. The folios are organized by broad categories into seven series, and each folio within a series will be subdivided into topic-specific chapters.

As part of the move to the Tax Folios, all of the archived income tax interpretation bulletins and nine of the current income tax interpretation bulletins, along with archived issues of the CRA’s Income Tax Technical News were cancelled, effective September 30, 2012. 

The new tax folios which have been issued to date, as well as a listing of current ITs and information on how the replacement process will be implemented, can be found on the CRA website at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/tchncl/ncmtx/ntrfls-eng.html.


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced the interest rates that will apply to amounts owed to and by the federal government for the first half of 2013.

Debit rate Credit
January 1 - March 31, 2013 5% 1%/3%
April 1 – June 30, 2013 5% 1%/3%

The credit rate of interest to be paid on overpayments of tax differs for individual and corporate taxpayers. The lower of the two credit rates shown is paid on corporate tax overpayments.

Details of interest rates charged and paid during the year can be found on the CRA Web site at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/fq/ntrst_rts/menu-eng.html.


Many Canadians carry out banking transactions online, through their financial institution’s Web site, using client-specific login information. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced that it will now be possible for that login information to be used to access the Agency’s online tax services for individuals.

Clients of TD Bank Group, BMO Financial Group and Scotiabank will be able to use the same login information used for online banking to access the CRA’s individual online tax services, through the Web site feature My Account or My Business Account. To do so, clients must first register for My Account, and will receive a CRA security code by mail. Once that security code is entered on the CRA Web site, future logins can be done using the financial institution login information, eliminating the need to remember a separate login id and password.

More information on the new service can be found on the CRA Web site at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/esrvc-srvce/tx/psssrvcs/snp_fq/menu-eng.html.


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced that, effective as of the 2013 filing season (for 2012 returns), taxpayers who choose to NETFILE their returns on the CRA Web site will no longer need an access code to do so. Previously, the CRA had mailed access codes to taxpayers before the start of filing season.

Information security requirements will instead be met by having taxpayers provide their social insurance number and date of birth. Taxpayers will be able to NETFILE their 2012 returns as of February 11, 2013.

The notice announcing the change, together with other information on NETFILE, can be found on the CRA Web site at http://netfile.gc.ca/fq_ccsscdlmntn-eng.html.


There is no change to federal corporate tax rates for 2013, meaning that the  general federal corporate tax rate and the rate applied to income from manufacturing and processing will remain 15.0%.

The small business tax rate remains at 11.0% and the federal small business limit is unchanged at $500,000.


Dollar amounts on which individual non-refundable federal tax credits for 2013  are based, and the actual tax credit claimable, will be as follows:

Credit amount Tax credit
Basic personal amount 11,038 1,656
Spouse or common-law partner amount 11,038 1,656
Child amount 2,234 335
Eligible dependant amount 11,038 1,656
Age amount 6,854 1028
Net income threshold for erosion of credit 34,562
Infirm dependant amount (over 18) 6,530 980
Net income threshold for erosion of credit 6,548
Caregiver amount (for parent or grandparent) 4,490 674
Net income threshold for erosion of credit  15,334
Disability amount 7,697 1,155
Adoption expenses credit 11,669 1,750
Medical expense tax credit threshold amount 2,152
Maximum refundable medical expense supplement 1,142
Old Age Security clawback Income threshold 70,954

The spousal and eligible dependant amounts are reduced by any net income for the year of the spouse or eligible dependant.

Credit amounts are converted to a non-refundable credit by multiplying the amount by the federal rate applicable to the lowest income bracket, which is 15.0% for 2013.


The indexing factor for federal tax credits and brackets for 2013 is 2.0%. Consequently, the following federal tax rates and brackets will be in effect for individuals for the 2013 tax year:

Income level Federal tax rate
$11,038 - $43,561 15.0%
$43,562 - $87,123 22.0%
$87,124 - $135,054 26.0%
Above $135,054 29.0%

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced that its NETFILE service for individual income tax returns for the 2012 tax year will be available as of Monday, February 11, 2013. The list of software which is certified for NETFILE use for 2012 returns has not yet been released by the CRA.

The CRA’s TELEFILE service (filing of returns over a touchtone telephone) is no longer offered, leaving NETFILE and EFILE as the remaining non-paper filing methods. Those who wish to obtain a hard copy of the 2012 individual T1 return package can find it on the CRA Web site at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/formspubs/t1gnrl/menu-eng.html.


The T2 corporate income tax return to be used for 2012 filings has been posted on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Web site.

The updated form, which can be found at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t2/t2-12e.pdf, serves as the federal, provincial, and territorial corporate income tax return for all corporations excepting those located in Alberta or Quebec. Corporations in either of those provinces must file a separate provincial corporate income tax return.

The 2012 T2 return form will be available in hard copy on January 28, 2013.


The federal Department of Finance has announced the amounts which will apply for 2013 with respect to the computation of automobile expense deductions and employee benefits related to automobile use. Those amounts are as follows:

  • The ceiling on the capital cost of passenger vehicles for capital cost allowance (CCA) purposes will remain at $30,000 (plus applicable federal and provincial sales taxes) for purchases after 2012. This ceiling restricts the cost of a vehicle on which CCA may be claimed for business purposes.
  • The limit on deductible leasing costs will remain at $800 per month (plus applicable federal and provincial sales taxes) for leases entered into after 2012. This limit is one of two restrictions on the deduction of automobile lease payments. A separate restriction prorates deductible lease costs where the value of the vehicle exceeds the capital cost ceiling.
  • The maximum allowable interest deduction for amounts borrowed to purchase an automobile will remain at $300 per month for loans related to vehicles acquired after 2012.
  • The limit on the deduction of tax-exempt allowances paid by employers to employees using their personal vehicle for business purposes for 2013 will be increased by 1 cent, to 54 cents per kilometre for the first 5,000 kilometres driven, and to 48 cents for each additional kilometre. For Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, the tax-exempt allowance is set 4 cents higher, and will also increase by 1 cent, to 58 cents for the first 5,000 kilometres driven, and to 52 cents for each additional kilometre.
  • The general prescribed rate used to determine the taxable benefit relating to the personal portion of automobile operating expenses paid by employers for 2013 will increase by 1 cent, to 27 cents per kilometre.

The press release announcing the 2013 figures can be found on the Department of Finance Web site at http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/12-178-eng.asp.


The contribution rates for employment insurance premiums for 2013 have been announced by the federal government. For 2013, the contribution rate will be 1.88% on maximum insurable earnings of $47,400.

The maximum employee contribution for the year will be $891.12, and the maximum employer contribution will be 1.4 times that amount, or $1247.57.

A listing of contribution percentages and amounts for 2013 and previous years can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency Web site at  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/pyrll/clcltng/ei/cnt-chrt-pf-eng.html


The Bank of Canada has issued a press release outlining the dates on which announcements will be made during 2013 with respect to interest rates.

In a slight departure from current practice, in which interest rate announcements are generally made on Tuesday mornings, all such announcements will be issued on Wednesdays during 2013. The specific announcement dates are as follows:

  • Wednesday, January 23
  • Wednesday, March 6
  • Wednesday, April 17
  • Wednesday, May 29
  • Wednesday, July 17
  • Wednesday, September 4
  • Wednesday, October 23
  • Wednesday, December 4

The Bank of Canada press release, which also includes information on 2013 release dates for the Bank’s Monetary Policy Report, can be found on the Bank’s Web site at http://www.bankofcanada.ca/2012/08/press-releases/2013-schedule-policy-interest-rate-announcements-monetary-policy-report/.

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