Businesses brace for return to PST

The province has begun the process of converting back to provincial sales tax, beginning with a series of seminars in communities around the province.

But Penticton businesses will have to wait a little while for their turn. The Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their two Ministry of Finance-sponsored seminars on Jan. 24 with a morning option from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., or an afternoon option from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Seating is expected to be limited.

Campbell Watt, president of the local chamber, suggests the reintroduced PST should be very similar to what it used to be, but the transition is likely to be a little different for every business.

“There is going to be a transition and a learning curve, so we want to offer as many services to our membership as we can,” said Watt. “There is going to be a learning curve for everyone. I wonder if people with new businesses will be better off, because they won’t have the confusion of HST to deal with.”

Individual businesses can also use return to PST services that include: one-on-one consultations with a ministry tax specialist (request online); calling a toll-free number with questions (1-877-388-4440) or emailing their questions to

Watt said the chamber is planning to be as helpful as possible to make it a smooth transition.

“Our staff and to some degree, our board, are going to try to be as knowledgeable as we can, so we can answer questions,” said Watt. “We’re not going to pretend to take someone by the hand and walk them through it, but we’re happy to give any knowledge that we can, and specifically staff will be prepared for some questions, because I know there is going to be an abundance of them.“

Links to PST bulletins and notices, FAQs, an online sign-up form for one-on-one tax consultations for business, along with additional information about the return to the PST, can be found in the business outreach section of:

Chambers of commerce and business associations interested in hosting seminars for members can contact the ministry at 1-877-388-4440 to discuss options.


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