Home » British Columbia, HST Exemptions

BC Clothing HST and related services

21 May 2010 20 Comments

The clothing industry doesn’t escape the Harmonized Sales Tax scheduled to come into effect on July 1st. Both GST and PST are already charged on most articles of clothing and accessories. Tax on adult clothing and shoes, watches, jewelery , handbags, backpacks, sunglasses and belts will all remain being taxed at 12%, but instead of 5% GST and 7% PST, it will now be a 12% HST. Used adult clothing escaped the provincial sales tax, but will be subject to 12% Harmonized Sales Tax after July 1st.

In British Columbia, clothing for children, including footwear, will be HST exempt; only 5% GST will be charged. The good news is disposable diapers, which are currently taxed at 12% with GST and PST will be HST exempt after July 1st. This means new parents will save 7% on their diaper purchases post-HST. One of the more  notable changes in the area of clothing for children is all adult products will be subject to the 12% HST – this means parents can no longer claim an adult product is for a minor to save the 7% PST.

A number of clothing related services will have to endure a 7% tax increase with HST. Shoe repair, tailoring, dry cleaning and clothing rentals will all increase from 5% GST to 12% HST. Make sure you get all your dry cleaning done at the end of June!

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  • bcgal said:

    i feel this is wrong charging hst for kids clothes when they fit adult clothes

  • Dean said:

    The BC HST expansion and increased PST on Cars/trucks/motorcycles/Kayaks/etc; will pass through the “tipping point” of income to price point thresholds. This will force people to make serious recalculations on all purchases. Products previously exempt from PST will be removed from budgets where ever possible.
    Consumer reprisal will happen; in what forms are left to act upon; legal or otherwise. The extra policing needed to control the black markets will help the economy to grow.

  • Karen said:

    I think many of us are getting to the point where we cannot afford to pay what they are asking, So far we are still “allowed” to make clothing, grow food, and butcher our own meat without paying tax (except on supplies).The less money you need in your life the less you can be taxed. I would encourage all canadians to begin pursuing self sufficiency, and trade goods privately (legal or not) whenever possible.

  • Jayn said:

    I agree Karen.

    P.S Fuck this whole economy Bullshit. We need to push a new type of Gov, No more monetary systems. We need to understand that the entire world is our back yard, and that this system is wrong to deprive anyone of having a good, right life. We need to educate ourselves about all the benefits, technologically and socially, to understand that we could be doing so much more, with our lives and others lives. The economy has become more powerful than god, if people don’t start believing in something again the NWO will kick us in the ass and will laugh in our face, as we become less and less “free-willed”


    will you add 12% to the existing 5%& 7% (12%) making it a 24% tax?

    what about real estate?

  • Catherine Kusumoto said:

    Yes, I agree! Charging HST for kids clothes when they fit adult clothes is totally unfair. I understand there will be individuals out there using this to their benfit, but this practise occurs now with the provincial sales tax. Some children are larger just like some adults are smaller and purchase children’s clothing.

    Anyone close to the border will be shopping in the states and purchasing their goods.

  • Debbi said:

    There is just so much that is wrong with this! How many times does the gov’t need to be paid for the sale of an item! I own a consignment shop, selling pre-owned as well as new clothing. Now I have to charge a higher tax?! Folks were complaining about having to pay a tax at all, now this? …and yah, duh, there are alot of children out there that grow tall fast!~ Now parents have to be taxed because they have big, tall or large kids…great, just great. I can see my business going down the tubes since we live so close to the border. Thanks Gov.

  • george said:

    I agree with the others. It is a B.S. Tax Grab !!
    My son is 12 and has a size 10 men’s shoe size. That is bigger than my size 9 feet. I am buying him shoes for soccer, volleyball, biking, school, everyday use and all of these shoes are better than what I have on my feet. Clothes are the same issue. Why can’t we sign the tax exemption and have them compare that to our tax files to see who we are claiming as dependents.
    It is high time to either tax revolt or start using the cross border internet shopping and have them sending things as used goods.
    I am tired of funding a government that is only interested in preserving their pension fund rather than supporting the working class and the future adults of our country.
    Not only will this stop me from purchasing locally but it will have an effect on the Forzani Brothers stores where I will no longer shop and look forward to Canada post delivering my foreign bought goods to me.

  • Tirza said:

    I actually think that charging for HST on clothing for children related to the size they wear is discriminatory. My daughter just turned 13 and she has been wearing adult sizes since she was 12! Kids of her age should be wearing size 12-14 (some of them do). Industry clothing and shoe sizes have not kept up with the fact that children on average are bigger then they were 10 years ago. For that reality we now have to pay extra for having taller kids?

    If we want to get organized and start a legal action against the government for discrimination, what should we do?

  • Tracie said:

    I agree with the parents of tall, bigger sized children and foot size.I know of many family’s that will be affected by this unfair tax. So he or she comes in a larger,taller package, not thier fault and no thier parents fault,but they are no longer HST exempt. I hope that all the governments children fit into the larger sizes so they can pay through thier noses like the rest of us. It’s hard enough paying for all the needs of our kids without wondering where the cash will come from.
    For all the parents out there that have wee ones, enjoy. For the rest of us,we are screwed and thats the government for you..
    Even when I buy a coffee at timmy’s it’s .10 more per cup, gurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. It is time to count ever penny and watch what we are spending. Oh also Salvation Army now only charges HST on thier new beds. Everything else is hst EXEMPT…. So I know that if I buy anything there I won’t pay the government anything. Ha Ha

  • Maria said:

    Yes, I totally agree that children who are larger than the store size children’s wear, (who now seem to be in the majority) are being discriminated against! Is this an oversight, I think not, the government knows full well that a 13 year old boy wears size 10 in mens and is also a small men size in athletic wear and dress wear. This is another opportunity for them to capitalize on the majority of taxpayers. What can we do about it is my question.

  • Sheila said:

    I believe that the BC Liberal Government is being discriminatory to tax payers that have larger children. I would be interested in filing a class action suit against them…any lawyers in the crowd? How about under BC Civil Liberties Association…family status discrimination.

  • B said:

    I guess we need to deprive our kids of food so that they fit in the prescribed “normal” sizing to children’s clothing…

  • Sandi said:

    I have a 10 year old son who’s tall and has been wearing men’s runner’s for over a year now. It was nice to get these pricey items pst exempt. He’s starting to wear size small men’s clothing now too. I live close to the border, so I can drive 45min, get WAY more selection in the US, pay virtually PAR, prices are BETTER there at the same stores I have in Canada and I only pay 8% tax. It’s a no brainer, I’m going south of the border to clothing/shoe shop for my three kids! Way to go Canadian Government. Let’s not forget to mention Duty free recreational vehicles or boats. Go down south, pay almost HALF, pay less tax, and duty free at the border. I can see this economy just skyrocketing-NOT!

  • trish said:

    I agree with everyone above.. We just bought our kids some new back to school clothes (mainly shoes, soccer boots, ice skates) and couldn’t believe I had to pay more & pay HST.

    My oldest son, just 9 years old, who grew it a size 6 over the summer and now has to buy “adult” shoes.. at size 6!!!. Double the price and HST is added… I didn’t realize this was happening… I was so absorbed in how the HST was going to effect my furniture rental business, that I didn’t even think it to check to see if it would effect my 7 & 9 year old… They are under 14… so, technically, they shouldn’t be paying tax… WRONG..

    My husband wrote to our MLA today asking for a rebate on the taxes a 9 year old had to pay. If it turns into anything, we’ll let you all know.

    Perhaps, if our government stopped allowing growth hormones, chemicals, GMO’s, antibotics etc in our food supply perhaps, our kids wouldn’t be growing so large so quick. that’s another story….

  • Ashley2022 said:

    So I guess all this extra tax is for what? Shouldn’t our Province be out of the hole yet? Oh wait Gordon is driving us deeper AND with more taxes. Sweet! Can’t imagine the poor kids working at the Shell Station or at the mall. Good luck to ya!

  • Debbie said:

    I do agree that there should be tax exempt items such as anything that would benefit a persons health, extra curricular acitivitis for school aged children, music leassons, clothing, etc. However, maybe our leaders should have incorporated a hidden tax as usual. For the majority of the people up in arms about the HST it is because they are used to getting shafted in the dark. The government will get whatever they need one way or the other, whether it be out in the open like the HST or hidden and buried. At least we have the option of cooking healthier meals at home and staying away from restaurants!

  • Patricia Quaite said:

    I was just in our local Sears store, and purchased a number of sleepers and tee-shirts for my 3 yr old grandson. Once home I was looking at my bill and was shocked to see the full 12% HST was charged on each and every clothing item! According to the information above on this page, only 5% GST should have been charged. I am going back there now to point this out to the cashier and see what explanation she comes up with!!!

  • Gav said:

    Yeap! I totally agree with guys here,but I have one question, how did this happen to kids who are wearing adult-size clothes before the implementation of HST? was it 5% GST + 7%PST? Because you still have to pay 5% GST + 7%PST on adult wear before HST?In that case ,there is no difference before or after HST.

  • Nancy said:

    Last week I purchased an XS in a child’s size T-shirt for my six-year-old Little Sister at a popular tourist mountain-top attraction’s gift-store. I was charged HST on the purchase and on a friendly inquiry as to why, I was told they never used to but last year they just found it easier to charge HST on everything. Is this a common practice?

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