Return to two taxes confusing for some B.C. merchants
British Columbians will be back to paying a combination of PST and GST next week
At the stroke of midnight on April 1st, the Harmonized Sales Tax goes out and the combination of Provincial Sales Tax and the federal Goods and Services Tax comes back, which is good news to some merchants.
Kevin Corkum, owner of Vancouver's La Bicicletta bicycle shop, says bicycles and bicycle helmets will get cheaper for his customers once the 12 per cent HST is gone. Under the old system, bicycles and helmets were exempt from PST, which meant only the five per cent GST was applied to their sale price.
But Corkum says the government and suppliers are creating confusion about the taxes.
"We are getting mixed messages from multiple points of contact. I am personally confused if it is back to the old PST or a new version of the PST," he said.
Mike Klassen, with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, says he's receiving a lot of phone calls from members, many of whom are also confused about preparing for the transition next week.
"There are a whole bunch of things they need to do. They need to update cash registers, they need to train their staff, there is a significant cost and, frankly, we are telling them to contact their accountants and, of course, that will cost them a few dollars as well," Klassen said.
With files from the CBC's Richard Zussman