COVID-19: Economic Relief Measures Announced to Date

  • On April 26, 2020, the Government of British Columbia announced that it is doubling this year’s funding for Family Caregivers of British Columbia to $1 million, helping support both caregivers and seniors.
  • Family Caregivers of BC is a non-profit organization that supports people that are caring for elderly loved ones, family or friends.
  • For more information, see the Government of British Columbia’s news release of April 26, 2020.[337]

Tax relief for businesses

  • The Government of British Columbia is extending filing and payment deadlines until September 30, 2020, for the employer health tax, provincial sales tax (including self-assessing PST registrants), municipal and regional district tax on short-term accommodation, carbon tax, motor fuel tax, and tobacco tax.
  • The following tax changes announced in the February 18, 2020, British Columbia budget are postponed until at least September 30, 2020:
    • eliminating the PST exemption for carbonated beverages that contain sugar, natural sweeteners or artificial sweeteners.
    • expanded registration requirements for Canadian sellers of goods, along with Canadian and foreign sellers of software and telecommunication services.
    • carbon tax rates will remain at their current levels until further notice.
  • In an April 1, 2020, Tax Notice, revised on April 22, 2020, the Government of British Columbia announced changes to its sales tax. PST registrants must continue to include sales tax on invoices and collect from customers. Registrants may temporarily close their PST accounts if business operations have ceased. To close a PST account, registrants must submit a closure request online via eTaxBC, or submit a Request to Close Provincial Sales Tax Account (FIN 357)
  • The deadline for filing a logging tax return is September 1, 2020, for returns that were due between March 18, 2020, and August 31, 2020.
  • Taxpayers do not have to pay Exit Tax to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, effective May 4, 2020, if the vehicle was purchased before May 4, 2020, and if the prorate licence is cancelled and replaced with a licence for use solely within British Columbia between March 11, 2020, and September 30, 2020.
  • The Government of British Columbia originally announced a 50% reduction in school tax rates for commercial properties (Classes 4, 5 and 6) for the 2020 tax year. On April 16, 2020, the province announced an additional reduction to an average 25% reduction in the total property tax bill for most businesses. The date on which late payment penalties will apply for commercial buildings (Classes 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8) is postponed to October 1, 2020.
  • In July 2020, an additional one-time payment will be made on top of the regular climate action tax credit. As announced by the Government of Canada, benefit payments will continue for an additional three months for those who are not able to file their 2019 income tax returns on time and this applies to the enhanced B.C. climate action tax credit payment for July 2020.
  • On April 22, 2020, the government announced[338] that PST registrants now have the option to temporarily close their PST account if they are stopping business operations. Additionally, the payments and returns can be deferred until September 30, 2020, for those who are required to self-assess PST.
  • WorkSafeBC is postponing the payment deadline for the first quarter of 2020 to June 30, 2020 for employers who report payroll and make payments on a quarterly basis. Employers who report payroll on an annual basis have until March of 2021 to report their 2020 payroll or pay their 2020 premiums.
  • For more information, see the Government of British Columbia’s “Provincial Tax Changes” webpage.[339]

Emergency funding distributed through Community Living BC (“CLBC”)

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