B.C. Provincial Budget Tax Changes

On September 11, 2017, the government announced proposed changes to the provincial tax laws. Some of these changes confirm changes previously announced on February 21, 2017. These changes are subject to the approval of the legislature. 

Read a summary explanation of all the tax changes in the Budget and Fiscal Plan.

Changes were introduced for:

Learn more about the following tax changes using the sources below.

Sales Taxes

Carbon Tax

Carbon Tax Rates Increased 

Effective April 1, 2018, the carbon tax rates are increased by $5 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (CO2e) annually until rates are equal to $50 per tonne of CO2e on April 1, 2021.

More information on the requirement to take an inventory of, and pay additional security on fuel held in inventory in B.C. as of midnight on March 31, 2018 will be provided at a later date.

Provincial Sales Tax

Tax on Electricity Phased Out 

Effective April 1, 2019, electricity is fully exempt from provincial sales tax.

Effective on a date to be specified by regulation, the tax rate on electricity is reduced to 3.5% from 7% of the purchase price. Once the legislation receives royal assent, government intends to provide at least one month of notice before this change takes effect. 

Tobacco Tax

Tobacco Tax Rates Increased 

Effective on a date to be specified by regulation, the tax rate on cigarettes is increased to $49.40 from $47.80 per carton of 200 cigarettes, and the tax rate on fine-cut tobacco is increased to 24.7 cents from 23.9 cents per gram. 

Once the legislation receives royal assent, government intends to provide at least one month of notice before this change takes effect.

More information on the requirement to take an inventory of, and pay additional security on, unsold tobacco products held in B.C. will be provided at a later date.

Motor Fuel Tax

Natural Gas Used as Locomotive Fuel Exempted

Effective on a date to be specified by regulation, natural gas for use in an internal-combustion engine for any rolling stock or vehicle when run on rails is exempt from the 3 cent per litre tax on locomotive fuel. 

Once the legislation receives royal assent, government intends to provide at least one month of notice before this change takes effect. The motor fuel tax exemption for natural gas used as locomotive fuel is consistent with the motor fuel tax exemptions for natural gas used in motor vehicles or used in a ship.

Income Taxes

International Business Activity

International Business Activity Program eliminated.

Tax Rates

Preferential tax benefit for credit unions restored.

Small Business Corporate Income Tax Rate reduced.

General Corporate Income Tax Rate increased.

New personal income tax rate introduced. 

Tax Credits

Tax credit for volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers introduced.

Child Arts, Child Fitness and Child Fitness Equipment tax credits eliminated after the 2017 tax year.

Dividend tax credit rate on other than eligible dividends reduced.

Dividend tax credit rate for eligible dividends increased.

Back to School Tax Credit introduced.

Book Publishing Tax Credit extended.

B.C. Mining Flow-Through Share Tax Credit extended.

Film Tax Credits regional location boundary adjusted.

Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit amended.

Low Income Climate Action Tax Credit payments increased.

Mining Exploration Tax Credit qualifying expenses expanded.

Scientific Research & Experimental Development Tax Credit extended.

Training Tax Credits extended.

Property Taxes

Property Transfer Tax

First Time Home Buyer’s threshold increase confirmed.

Historical Budget Information