Five months from now, on April 1, 2013, we will be switching back to the PST from the current HST system. This can mean some big changes for businesses both large and small, so I’d like to take a moment to remind business owners here in the community that there are many resources available to help them make this change smoothly and efficiently.
I know business owners may have concerns as to how the transition will affect them, and I want to assure you that our government is working to make the switchover as easy as possible. Through a combination of one-on-one consultation services, online webinars, a toll-free information number, an e-mail address, and many other services, we hope to give businesses the information they need to ensure a smooth transition.
I hope most of you have already received a letter from our government about this and are already aware of these services. I’m happy to say that many businesses across the province have already begun using the services available. Over 800 requests have been made for one-on-one consultation with a Ministry tax specialist, and 160 of these have been completed. Over 300 businesses have registered for online webinars, which cover the general principles of the PST and the eTaxBC online service; three webinars have been held already and more are being scheduled for December. Thousands of questions from businesses have also been answered through the toll-free number set up for information on the PST.
Please remember, if you have any questions or concerns about how the switch to PST will affect your business, our government is here to help. You can call 1-877-388-4440 with your questions, or e-mail them to CTBTaxQuestions@gov.bc.ca. You can also find more information at www.pstinbc.ca and atwww.gov.bc.ca/PST. I hope that these tools will make finding the information you need as easy as possible.
Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.