HST (PST) Exemptions or Point-of-Sale Rebates for British Columbia (BC)

This following list provides designated items which should not be taxed with 12% HST in British Columbia, only 5% GST component should apply.

If a person purchases a designated item at a retail establishment or through the Internet, the retailer would automatically provide the purchaser with the point-of-sale rebate, crediting the 7% B.C. component of the HST and only collecting the 5% federal component of the HST on that item.

For simplicity, specific affected goods marked in bold. The list of designated items is:

Motor Fuels

Similar to the sales tax treatment under B.C.’s current Provincial Sales Tax (PST), certain motor fuels would be eligible for a point-of-sale rebate of the seven per cent B.C. component of the HST.

The following would qualify as motor fuel for the purpose of the point-of-sale rebate of the B.C. component of the HST:

  • gasoline-type fuels, including ethanol-gasoline blends, that are suitable for use in internal combustion engines and are marketed or sold as fuel for that purpose;
  • diesel, bio-diesel and bio-diesel blends, but not including heavy fuel oil, that are suitable for use in internal combustion engines of the compression-ignition type and are marketed or sold as fuel for that purpose, other than any such fuel that is marketed or sold as fuel for use as heating oil, including locomotive fuel and marine diesel, marketed or sold as fuel for use in trains or boats; and
  • aircraft fuel, including aviation gasoline and jet fuel, that is suitable for use in an engine or in a turbine that propels an aircraft and is marketed or sold as fuel for that purpose.

The following fuels (including any bio-fuel equivalent or blend) would NOT qualify for the point-of-sale rebate of the seven per cent B.C. component of the HST:

  • heating oil and furnace oil;
  • heavy fuel oil, including marine bunker fuel (or bunker oil);
  • hydrogen;
  • kerosene (excluding jet fuel);
  • natural gas and natural gas liquids (e.g., liquefied natural gas or LNG); and
  • propane and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Where heating oil, furnace oil, natural gas and propane are purchased for residential use, they may be eligible for the provincially administered rebate for residential energy.

Books

Similar to the provincial point-of-sale rebates offered in the current HST participating provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador), B.C. proposes to provide a point-of-sale rebate of the seven per cent B.C. component of the HST to all persons who purchase books.

The following would qualify as books for the purpose of the point-of-sale rebate of the B.C. component of the HST:

  • a printed book or an update of a printed book;
  • an audio recording all or substantially all of which is a spoken reading of a printed book (an audio book);
  • a bound or unbound printed version of scripture of any religion;
  • a printed book and a read-only medium (such as a CD-ROM) sold together as a single package, when all or substantially all of the value of the material contained on the read-only medium is reasonably attributable to a reproduction of the printed book and/or material that makes specific reference to the printed book and its content and that supplements and is integrated with that content; and
  • a printed book and a read-only medium and/or a right to access a website sold together as a single package, which is specially designed for students enrolled in a qualifying course, when the read-only medium or website contains material related to the subject matter of the printed book.

A qualifying course means a course where the supply of the service of instructing in the course is an exempt supply included in Part III of Schedule V to the federal Excise Tax Act or would be an exempt supply included in that Part but for the fact that the supplier made an election under that Part.

The following items, including anything having the following items as its main component, would NOT qualify as a printed book for the purpose of the point-of-sale rebate of the B.C. component of the HST:

  • a newspaper;
  • a magazine or periodical, unless it is purchased by subscription and the printed space of the magazine or periodical devoted to advertising is not more than five per cent of the total printed space;
  • a brochure or pamphlet;
  • a sales catalogue, a price list or advertising material;
  • a warranty booklet or an owners manual;
  • a book designed primarily for writing on;
  • a colouring book or a book designed primarily for drawing on or affixing thereto, or inserting therein, items such as clippings, pictures, coins, stamps or stickers;
  • a cut-out book or a press-out book;
  • a program relating to an event or performance;
  • an agenda, calendar, syllabus or timetable;
  • a directory, an assemblage of charts or an assemblage of street or road maps, but not including a guidebook or an atlas that consists in whole or in part of maps other than street or road maps;
  • a rate book;
  • an assemblage of blueprints, patterns or stencils; or
  • an assemblage or a collection of, or any item similar to, the above items.

Electronic and digital publications would NOT qualify as printed books for the purpose of the point-of-sale rebate of the B.C. component of the HST for books.

Children’s Clothing

Similar to the sales tax treatment of children’s sized clothing under B.C.’s current PST, children’s sized clothing would be eligible for a point-of-sale rebate of the seven per cent B.C. component of the HST.

The following would qualify as children’s clothing for the purpose of the point-of-sale rebate of the B.C. component of the HST:

  • garments designed for babies, including baby bibs, bunting blankets and receiving blankets;
  • children’s garments in sizes up to and including girls’ Canada Standard Size 16 and boys’ Canada Standard Size 20 or garments designated for boys or girls in sizes small, medium or large if the clothing does not have a designated Canada Standard Size; and
  • children’s hosiery or stretchy socks, hats, scarves, gloves and mittens in sizes and styles designated for children.

The following items would NOT qualify as children’s clothing for the purpose of the point-of-sale rebate of the B.C. component of the HST:

  • adult sized clothing, even if purchased for a child;
  • costumes;
  • clothing and accessories designed to prevent bodily injury (e.g., sports protective equipment);
  • children’s footwear; or
  • children’s diapers.

Children’s footwear and children’s diapers may qualify for their own point-of-sale rebates as described below.

Children’s Footwear

Similar to the sales tax treatment for children’s sized footwear under B.C.’s current PST, children’s sized footwear would be eligible for a point-of-sale rebate of the seven per cent B.C. component of the HST.

The following footwear would qualify for the purpose of the point-of-sale rebate of the B.C. component of the HST:

  • footwear designed for babies;
  • footwear for girls in sizes up to and including girls’ size 6;
  • footwear for boys in sizes up to and including boys’ size 6; and
  • footwear without a numerical size that is designated for boys or girls in size small, medium or large.

The following items would NOT qualify as children’s footwear for the purpose of the point-of-sale rebate of the B.C. component of the HST:

  • adult sized footwear (i.e., in sizes greater than 6), even if purchased for a child;
  • cleats, skates, roller blades, ski-boots, or similar footwear;
  • footwear designed to prevent bodily injury; or
  • stockings, socks or similar footwear (these articles may qualify for a point-of-sale rebate if they qualify as children’s clothing).

Children’s Diapers

B.C. proposes to provide a point-of-sale rebate of the seven per cent B.C. component of the HST on purchases of diapers that are designed for babies and children. Both cloth and disposable diapers would qualify for the point-of-sale rebate. This point-of-sale rebate would replace B.C.’s current PST exemption for cloth diapers.

Diapers designed for babies and children would include diaper inserts and liners, rubber pants, and training pants.

Children’s Car Seats and Car Booster Seats

Similar to the sales tax treatment under B.C.’s current PST, children’s car seats and children’s car booster seats would be eligible for a point-of-sale rebate of the seven per cent B.C. component of the HST.

The children’s car seats and children’s car booster seats that would qualify for the purpose of the point-of-sale rebate of the B.C. component of the HST are restraint systems or booster cushions that conform with Transport Canada’s safety requirements for Standards 213 (Child Restraint System), 213.1 (Infant Restraint System), 213.2 (Booster Cushion) and 213.5 (Restraint Systems for Infants With Special Needs) as described under the federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Children’s car seats and children’s car booster seats that do not meet Transport Canada’s safety standards would NOT qualify for the point-of-sale rebate of the B.C. component of the HST.

Travel systems, which are combination stroller, carrier and car seat sold in a single package, would NOT qualify as children’s car seats or children’s car booster seats for the purpose of the point-of-sale rebate of the B.C. component of the HST. Therefore, these items will be subject to the full 12 per cent HST.

Feminine Hygiene Products

Similar to the sales tax treatment under B.C.’s current PST, feminine hygiene products would be eligible for a point-of-sale rebate of the seven per cent B.C. component of the HST. The following items would qualify for the purpose of the point-of-sale rebate of the B.C. component of the HST:

  • sanitary napkins,
  • tampons,
  • sanitary belts
  • or other products marketed exclusively for purposes similar to the purposes for which sanitary napkins, tampons and sanitary belts are marketed.

PDF version of the document provided by Canada Revenue Agency is available here:

HST Exemptions – British Columbia

6 comments to HST (PST) Exemptions or Point-of-Sale Rebates for British Columbia (BC)

  • ugg boot uk

    Well this is very interesting indeed. Would love to read a little more of this. Great post. Thanks for the heads-up

  • Trish

    I’ve been into environmentalism for 20 some odd years now. I’ve always wanted to find a way to reduce our usage of the electrical grid, which I’ve done to some extent with a few solar panels, but I can’t really afford anything that would power the whole home. I’ve been looking into building a cheap magnetic generator. Have you had any experice with this or others?

  • Tim

    It’s past time to stop using foreign oil! Maybe we will always need some oil, but we just have to stop depending on Middle East oil. There are 3 fairly easy things that all of us can do now to make a difference. 1- Stop pumping gas into your car! If you have a gas guzzler now, convert it into an electric car. No more gas! 2- Stop using electricity off the electric grid! Either build solar panels, or build a cheap magnetic generator. Not very hard! 3- Learn to bike or walk! If you are only going a mile to the shop, walk or bike there. My 2 cents.

  • hiten

    I did some shopping at branded store for my kids and When I asked the cashier to exempt P.S.T on kids clothing size 12-18. She refused to do so as she said its HST now on everything. Which create my interest to check out on website what it is about. so going through the post has helped for sure. But what are my rights now??? as I have purchased the cloths . around for 126$ which mean I could save another 8-9 $ on tops.
    but how to proceed is the question

  • Trueler

    Hi Hiten,

    It is outrageous that cashier refused to exclude PST portion of HST!

    Can you please send us a copy of your receipt and some more details? Trueler will create an article about the case and contact that store directly. I’ve sent an e-mail where you can send receipt.

    As an alternative you may print the law and show it to the manager in the store. Please let us know how it goes. A lot of the branded stores take advantage of the new HST law. Let’s stop it!

    Thanks,
    Trueler

  • Kate

    Tim………….how do you make solar panels and cheap magnetic generators?

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