Rod Butcher: The exemption under the BC HST is to be applied as a point-of-sale rebate. At the till, you would process an "instant" credit equal to the amount of the provincial portion of the BC HST (7%). The reason for structuring the relief as a rebate is to give you an input tax credit for the full amount of the HST you are charged, whether or not it relates to the sale of books that receive the rebate. When you sell calendars and postcards that are not eligible for the rebate, you would collect the 12% from the purchaser.
Brenda: I own a service business as well. I charge some of my customers GST at 0% because of the service. Will this change now, as in there will be no service at 0% GST, or HST?
Rod Butcher: Not familiar with the type of business, but if at present your services are zero-rated or exempt for GST, you will continue to zero-rate or exempt your services under the HST. The tax base remains the same.
Hilda: I work for a small charity that claims back the PST it pays, on printing of educational materials for the charity and other items. How will the HST affect this?
Rod Butcher: Charities will no longer pay the ORST or BC SST. Ontario charities will receive an 82% rebate of the provincial 8% for the provincial tax they pay. BC charities will receive 57% rebates. The factors were designed to reflect the net impact on charities of changing the retail sales tax to a broad-based tax like the HST.
Craig: I'm on the board of a small charity that currently claims GST, but not PST. How will this affect our rebate claims, and is there anything we'll need to do?
Rod Butcher: By claiming GST, I assume you mean you have registered and are recovering GST rebates. Charities will be able to recover 82% (in Ontario) and 57% (if in BC) of the provincial component of the HST paid in those provinces. It will be claimed on your periodic GST return, and there is nothing extra you need to do.
Individuals and tax
Pat: We currently use the quick method for calculating the GST we need to remit. Will the rates be changed for what we need to remit?
Rod Butcher: Yes, they will, but that level of detail has not been published yet. You could anticipate some rates by reference to the Atlantic provinces, but there is potential for differences and we would not like to speculate.
Geoffrey: I heard that there will be income tax cuts to compensate for the HST in Ontario. For sake of example, how much income tax could a single person making $50,000, $70,000, $90,000 expect to save? How does this compare to the estimated increased sales tax costs?
Rod Butcher: For this, you need an income tax advisor. Ontario announced a cut in the lowest rate of income tax to 5.05% from 6.05% effective January 1, 2010 - how much that would mean to you would depend on your personal circumstances.
Michael Creek: I'm very concerned on how the HST will impact those who live in poverty in our province and also the impact that the HST will have on low income earners along with our Seniors. Do you think that the rebates that are proposed will make the new HST equitable and fair to those who live in poverty and low income.
John glas: Seems like the viewers are heavily weighted in the business sector. I am a senior and one of the ones who will be impacted negatively.
Rod Butcher: Michael Creek, the intention was that the total package of tax cuts and credit cheques was designed to offset any additional cost from the new tax. Whether it's enough, I can't comment.
Steve: Hi ..I was wondering what the HST will do to purchasing a home either the first time or the second time ? My daughter want's to purchase a house in the near future should she be rushing to purchase before July ??? A concerned father !!!
Allan: How will the change to HST affect real estate transactions?
Andrew: I live in BC. If I buy a new condo now, I understand I would pay 5% GST. If harmonization goes through, what would be the difference paid on a new condo selling for say $300,000?