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PST Exemption Certificates

Many exemption certificates are available for qualifying purchasers such as for farmerscontractors  and commercial fishers.

Verify a PST Number

You can verify a PST number to confirm a business is registered for PST when they request an exemption.

This service is free and optional. You aren't required to verify a customer's PST number.

To verify a PST number, you need your customer's:

  • PST Number
  • Business Number

Verify a PST Number

Useful Contacts

Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.

Phone: 1-877-388-4440
(toll free within Canada)

Email: CTBTaxQuestions@gov.bc.ca

Tax Exemptions

The following PST exemptions are available to all purchasers. Purchasers don't need to do anything to get the exemption.

  • food for human consumption (e.g. basic groceries and prepared food such as restaurant meals)
  • books, newspapers and magazines
  • children-sized clothing
  • bicycles
  • prescription medications and household medical aids such as cough syrup and pain medications

See Sales to First Nations for information on how to make exempt sales to First Nations customers.

Providing Exemptions to Customers

 Some exemptions are only available to certain purchasers in certain circumstances. These exemptions include:

  • Goods purchased solely for resale or lease
  • Software or telecommunication services purchased solely for resale
  • Goods or software purchased to be incorporated into goods for resale

Businesses need to keep specific information in their records to show why they didn't charge PST on a sale or lease. If businesses don't do this, they can be assessed for the tax that should have been collected, plus penalties and interest.

To provide certain exemptions, businesses must get the purchaser's PST number or, if the purchaser doesn't have one, a completed PST exemption certificate.

You can verify a purchaser's PST number to help ensure that claims for certain PST exemptions made by your customers are being made by businesses that are registered for PST.

The PST Number Verification Service is a free and optional service that you can use to verify the PST number of your customers. You are not required to verify the PST numbers of each of your customers before providing an exemption.

To verify a PST number, you need:

  1. your customer's business number (BN), which is also the
    first 9 digits of their GST/HST number, and
  2. your customer's PST number (e.g., PST-XXXX-XXXX)

If a purchaser can't provide the required information you must charge and collect PST. If the purchaser provides the required documentation after the purchase but within 180 days, your businesses may refund or credit the PST charged.

It is the purchaser's responsibility to ensure they qualify for the exemption. If the purchaser completes an exemption certificate but they don't qualify for the exemption, the purchaser is responsible for paying the PST.

Read the PST Exemptions and Documentation Requirements
bulletin (PST 200)
 (PDF) to learn more about the information and documentation you must obtain before providing exemptions to your customers, and the information and documentation you must provide when claiming exemptions for your business.

 PST Exemption Certificates

There are a number of exemption certificates that qualifying customers can complete to get a PST exemption at the point of sale or lease.

It’s ok for businesses to create their own versions of these exemption certificates, but the business must ensure that all the required information and the declaration asked for on the official exemption certificate is included in their version.

Non-Taxable Sales and Services

When a good or service is not subject to PST, a specific exemption in the legislation isn't needed. Similar to the old PST, the following isn't taxable under the new PST.

  • sales of real property such as residential housing or commercial real estate
  • admissions and memberships
  • professional services (other than legal services)
  • transportation fares (e.g. bus, train, ferry, airline)