Provincial Sales Tax

PST self-assessment is required on goods purchased for use in BC if the vendor does not collect the tax.

This includes goods purchased:

  • outside of BC for use in BC
  • in BC for use in BC.

Self-assessment is also required on software, short-term accommodations, legal services, telecommunication services and related services (services to goods) if the vendor does not collect the tax.

PST does not apply to real property. Review the following documents for more information on the meaning of real property:

If a contractor supplies goods and installs them such that they become real property (an improvement to real property or affixed machinery) on installation we are not liable for PST unless we have entered into an agreement with the contractor that specifically states we are liable for PST on the goods and the agreement sets out the purchase price of the goods.

Rather, the contractor is liable for PST on goods that it purchases and the PST would be part of the contractor's cost of the work it performs for us. The contractor should not collect PST when invoicing us unless we have entered into the agreement described above.

If we buy goods from a vendor and have them installed by another vendor, we are liable for PST on the goods but are not liable for PST on the installation service if the goods become real property on installation.

If a non-resident vendor sells and installs goods that become real property on installation we will have to self-assess PST on the goods if we are the importer of record that brings the goods into BC.

PST Collection

We are required to collect PST on the sale of goods and services to goods (e.g. installation, repairs, maintenance, etc.) In addition, we must collect PST on the sale of software or a right to use software, telecommunication services and short-term accommodation. The PST rate is 7% except for accommodation where the rate is 8%. In addition, a 3% Municipal and Regional District Tax applies to accommodation at the UBC Okanagan campus.

We do not collect PST on certain sale transactions. Refer to PST Bulletin 200 that describes the many exemptions.

In Workday PST may be recorded using the ‘PST Payable’ ledger accounts in local cost centres via accounting journal. As a result, accounting journal approvals are done locally by the Budget Owner. At month end there is a monthly allocation to transfer the liability balances to a central cost centre.

View the decision tree on determining BC PST self-assessment requirements.

Find out more about PST