Effective July 1, 2022, tobacco retail dealers in British Columbia (“BC”) must register to collect and remit provincial sales tax (“PST”).
The tobacco industry is no stranger to high taxes and complicated regulatory schemes – but BC appears made the situation even worse, by making provincial sales tax (“PST”) apply on top of its pre-existing stand-alone tobacco tax!
The Canadian tobacco industry is among the most highly and intensely regulated industries in the country – albeit largely policed by Provincial Governments. In Ontario, for example, regulation crosses all levels of the production, manufacturing and distribution process, starting with the actual farming of tobacco and ending with the final sales to the ultimate consumers of the products (i.e., smoking for their own consumption).
The Ontario Ministry of Finance has threatened to turn the Ontario cigar industry upside down, by beginning to assess vendors selling cigars and other non-cigarette tobacco to status indians on federal indian reserves, for Ontario provincial tobacco tax (PTT). Previously most industry insiders would have assumed - just from Ontario's acquiescence to wide-spread industry practice of exempting all sales of non-cigarette tobacco sold to Indians that sales of cigars, pipe tobacco and chewing tobacco to status Indians on federal Indian reserves was exempt of PTT.