Your home is a central part of your life. Heating and cooling, utility bills and other ongoing costs are a significant part of your monthly budget. The tax rate on most of these items remains the same under the HST.

Here you will see a summary of how the HST affects these costs.

Returning to PST

  • The Government is working to bring back the PST as qickly as we responsibly can.
  • An action plan has been established to ensure an effective and orderly transition back.
  • The Independent Panel report released in May 2011 estimated it would take 18-24 months to complete the process.
  • Senior Citizens

Buying or Renting a Home

The tax rate on some other things hasn’t changed since the introduction of the HST:

  • There is no HST on the purchase of used (i.e., previously occupied) residential housing
  • There is no HST on strata fees, rent or mortgage payments
  • There is no HST on insurance premiums

New Areas Where You Will Pay More Tax

  • Contracting Services
  • Basic Cable (specialty channels see no change in tax as they were subject to 12 per cent total PST+GST before)
  • Basic Residential Phone Services (long distance, cell phones and extra features see no change in tax as they were subject to 12 per cent total PST+GST before)

Under the HST you now pay the provincial portion of the HST on real estate commissions.

The HST applies only to the purchase of newly constructed (or substantially renovated) residential housing, while the PST did not. The majority of home sales are resales, which do not have HST unless those re-sales are of substantially renovated homes.

Buying a new House? Try this new home calculator

What is a Substantial renovation?

A substantial renovation is considered to have taken place when 90 percent or more of the interior of a building has been removed or replaced with the exception of certain structural components.

Your Transportation

Next to housing, a vehicle can be one of the largest household purchases. Under the HST most of your daily travel costs have the same tax rate – the tax on gas and diesel for your vehicle, new vehicle purchases and public transportation have not increased.

Price at the Pump

There is no Increase in the tax rate for gas and diesel at the pump under the HST.

The HST rate is still just 5 per cent.

the taxes on fuel are identical today to what they were under the GST/PST system.

Your Auto

Vehicle Purchases

In most cases vehicles registered in B.C. will have a 12 per cent tax applied. For some vehicles the 12 per cent tax rate is a decrease, for others it is an increase. Here is a broad overview of how a vehicle sale is taxed under the HST.

For vehicles priced above $55,000 there will be a reduction in sales tax paid even regardless of the HST rate because the vehicle surtax has been eliminated.

Temporary PST reductions that were in place for fuel efficient and alternative fuel vehicles ended with the introduction of the HST.

Buying From a Dealer Within B.C.

  • In 2011 in most cases you will pay the same 12 per cent in sales tax you paid prior to July 1, 2010 under the PST+GST system.

Buying From a Dealer Within Canada

  • AB/MB/SK/QC/PEI/YK/NWT – You will be asked to pay the provincial portion of the sales tax upon registration in B.C.
  • ON/NS/NB/NFLD – If you paid the HST on your vehicle in any other HST participating province, because B.C. has the lowest rate in the nation, you would be eligible for a rebate from the Canada Revenue Agency once the vehicle is registered in B.C. (e.g., if you paid 13 per cent HST in Ontario, you would be eligible for a 1 per cent rebate.)

From Outside Canada

  • You will pay a 5 per cent federal portion of the HST at the border and you will pay the provincial part of the HST at time of registration in B.C.

Buying from an individual:

  • You will pay a 12 per cent provincial tax at time of registration of new ownership. This tax rate will drop as the HST rate drops.

Public Transport

There is no HST on public transportation networks including: Public Transit Systems (e.g. B.C. Transit, TransLink buses, Skytrain or Seabus) B.C. Ferries

Parking

There was 5 per cent GST on parking before the HST (usually included in the posted parking rate), and there is 12 per cent HST now. In metro Vancouver, there is an additional TransLink parking tax. However, this is not a provincial tax.

Travel

Here is information about the HST when planning your next trip

Airfare

For flights from B.C., except those to a destination within Canada, there is no change in the tax you pay.

Flight from B.C. to:Before HST (GST Only)Tax Rate under HS
B.C. / Canada5 per cent12 per cent (dropping to 10 per cent by 2014)
Continental U.S.5 per cent5 per cent
International0 per cent0 per cent

Hotel Stays

Before July 1, 2010 the 8 per cent provincial hotel room tax in B.C. meant that the basic tax rate for a hotel room in B.C. was 5 per cent GST + 8 per cent HRT. Under the HST the provincial hotel room tax was eliminated, and the tax rate has actually dropped to 12 per cent.

In some communities there is also a 2 per cent municipal and regional district hotel room tax collected on behalf of the local community to fund local tourism marketing, facilities and projects in the area.

Hotel
Windmill

Learn more About HTC to PST

The PST will be reinstated effective April 1, 2013.

Will the PST be re-implemented at 7%?

British Columbia’s provincial sales tax (PST) will be re-implemented effective April 1, 2013 at a general tax rate of seven per cent

Will all permanent PST exemptions return?

The PST will apply to the same goods and services that were subject to PST prior to the implementation of the HST. All permanent PST exemptions will be re-implemented with the new PST.