HST Exemptions and Rebates in British Columbia
The following are exempt from the B.C. provincial portion of sales tax.
- Gasoline, ethanol, diesel and bio-diesel when used in motor vehicles as well as locomotive fuel used for trains, marine diesel used for boats, and aviation fuel and jet fuel used for aircraft.
- Children’s-sized clothing and footwear
- Children’s car seats and car booster seats
- Feminine hygiene products
Also all goods and services currently exempt from the GST, will be exempt from the HST. These include:
- basic groceries
- prescription drugs
- residential rent
The B.C. Government has promised that low income families (under $25,000) and individuals (under $20,000) will receive $230 credit.
Residential energy rebate
- A rebate will be set up to ensure that HST will not increase the cost of heat or power in residential homes.
- New home buyers will not pay more when they file taxes than they would have under the old embedded PST system. This is applicable for houses under $525,000.
- New houses over $525,000 will receive a maximum of $26,250
- Used homes are not subject to HST
Zero-rated goods and services
- basic groceries such as milk, bread, and vegetables.
- agricultural products such as grain, raw wool, and dried tobacco leaves.
- most farm livestock.
- most fishery products such as fish for human consumption.
- prescription drugs and drug-dispensing fees.
- medical devices such as hearing aids; heart-monitoring devices; hospital beds; breathing apparatus; asthmatic devices; prescription eyeglasses/contact lenses; artificial eyes; artificial teeth such as dentures, crowns and bridges, orthodontic appliances; aids to locomotion such as a chair, commode chair, walker, wheelchair lift or other aid to locomotion for use by an individual with a disability; patient lifters; wheelchair ramp; portable wheelchair ramp; modifying motor vehicles to adapt the vehicle for the transportation of an individual using a wheelchair; prescription orthotic and orthopaedic devices; prosthesis/devices; canes or crutches; articles for blind individuals; guide dogs for blind individuals and hearing ear dogs; supplies and services related to medical and assistive devices.
Exempt goods and services:
- imports of zero-rated goods (goods that are specifically taxed at zero per cent in Canada, such as prescription drugs)
- goods imported by a charity or public institution that have been donated to the charity or institution
- used residential housing
- long-term residential accommodation (of one month or more), and residential condominium fees
- some sales of vacant land or farmland
- most health, medical, and dental services performed by licensed physicians or dentists for medical reasons
- child-care services (day-care services for less than 24 hours a day) for children 14 years old and younger
- personal-care services for children, underprivileged individuals, or individuals with disabilities, when provided by a person operating an establishment for these individuals, in either institutional or non-institutional settings
- bridge, road, and ferry tolls (ferry tolls are taxed at zero per cent if the ferry service is to or from a place outside Canada)
- legal aid services
- many educational services, such as courses from a vocational school that lead to a certificate or a diploma to practise a trade or a vocation; or tutoring services for an individual who takes a course approved for credit by a school authority or the education service follows a curriculum designated by a school authority
- music lessons
- most food or beverages sold in an elementary or secondary school cafeteria primarily to students of the school and most meal plans provided in a university or public college
- most services provided by financial institutions such as arrangements for a loan or mortgage
- arranging for and issuing insurance policies by insurance companies, agents, and brokers
- certain goods and services provided by non-profit organizations, governments, and other public service bodies, such as municipal transit services and standard residential services such as water distribution
- most goods and services provided by charities.
Goods and services that are exempt when charities provide them:
- most services
- supplies of used or donated goods
- short-term residential accommodation (less than one month of occupancy)
- meals-on-wheels programs. This exemption is for a supply of food or beverages to seniors, underprivileged individuals, or individuals with a disability, under a program established and operated to provide prepared food to such individuals in their places of residence. Any supply of food or beverages made to a charity for these programs is also exempt from GST/HST
- parking space rentals
- facility rentals (e.g., halls for weddings); and catering services for private functions (e.g., wedding receptions)
- Fees for recreational programs are exempt from GST/HST if the programs are provided primarily to children 14 years of age and under (however, if there is overnight supervision throughout a substantial part of these programs, the fee is taxable).
- Recreational services provided primarily to underprivileged individuals, or individuals with a disability, are also exempt.
Under the GST and HST, there are three different ways that goods and services are treated: they are zero-rated, exempt or taxable.
- Consumers do not pay HST on zero-rated items (i.e., they pay a zero per cent tax rate)
- Those making zero-rated supplies can claim input tax credits to recover tax paid on inputs used in making those supplies.
- Examples: basic groceries, prescription drugs, medical devices, exports.
- Consumers do not pay HST on exempt items (i.e., businesses or people making exempt supplies do not charge HST).
- Those making exempt supplies cannot claim input tax credits to recover tax paid on inputs used in making those supplies.
- Examples: health and dental services, financial services, long-term residential rental accommodation, child-care services, educational services.
- Most goods and services are taxable, which means that HST is charged on the supply of those items.
- Businesses making taxable supplies can claim input tax credits credits to recover tax paid on inputs used in making those supplies.
- Examples: cars, clothing, furniture, haircuts.