One of the more notable differences between Income Tax and GST/HST is that for GST/HST purposes partnerships are expressly defined to be “persons” – separate from the partners of the partnership. Most provincial sales tax statues take the same approach and define partnerships to be separate legal persons. However, this is not the case in British Columbia (“BC”), which is the sole Canadian jurisdiction that does not treat partnerships as persons for Provincial Sales Tax (“PST”) purposes.
This could change as the BC Ministry of Finance (the “Ministry”) has released a Consultation Paper seeking feedback on proposed legislative changes to bring BC in line with the rest of Canada. Subject to public support, the Ministry has identified four legislative or regulatory changes which would be required:
British Columbia’s (“BC’s”) new PST rules regarding online marketplaces have been in effect for about three months now. First announced in the 2022 provincial budget, the provincial government claims the changes will close tax loopholes and “better adapt BC’s consumption taxes to the rapid expansion of e-commerce during the pandemic.” It is expected to result in an additional 100 million of revenue for the province in each of the next two years.
But where is all that new revenue really coming from?
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) has been making the headlines for the past year as a result of significant interest in potential sales to energy-hungry Asian markets from the coast of British Columbia. There are at least 19 LNG proposals for British Columbia, but so far none of the proponents have commenced construction.