Vendor Information: Tax Verification Letter
Effective January 1, 2020, to be awarded a contract valued at equal to or above $100,000 (including all fees, expenses and options to extend or renew) with the Province, vendors must confirm that they’re compliant with their B.C. corporate income tax filing obligations and provincial sales tax filing and payment obligations by providing a Tax Verification Letter, unless certain exceptions apply.
This ensures that awarding contracts for goods, services and construction is done in a fair manner and demonstrates good stewardship of taxpayer dollars.
Vendors must meet the following requirements to obtain a Tax Verification Letter:
- Their B.C. corporate income tax and provincial sales tax (PST) filings must be up-to-date.
- They must not have a PST balance owing, unless:
- they have an acceptable payment arrangement in place with the B.C. Ministry of Finance, or
- they have a PST matter under appeal with the B.C. Ministry of Finance, and the PST balance owing relates to that matter.
If vendors don’t have a PST account with the Province, or if they’re not a corporation subject to B.C. corporate income tax, they must still request, and will be given, a Tax Verification Letter.
Any vendor who isn’t sure if they meet the requirements should contact the B.C. Ministry of Finance for assistance.
Tax Verification Letters can be obtained at no cost.
Tax Verification Letters must be issued by the B.C. Ministry of Finance and will:
- Indicate the vendor’s legal name
- Indicate the date of issue and the period of validity (e.g. one year)
- Be able to be used for multiple contracts
When to Provide a Tax Verification Letter
Unless an exception applies, before the Province may sign a contract for goods, services or construction valued, including all options to extend or renew, at $100,000 or more on or after January 1, 2020, the vendor must provide a Tax Verification Letter that is valid on the date the Province signs that contract. The Province will attach a Tax Verification Schedule to all applicable contracts and a valid Tax Verification Letter will need to be provided before the Province may extend or renew such contracts. If the original Tax Verification Letter is still valid as of the date the contract is extended or renewed, a new Tax Verification Letter is not needed.
A contract that was signed before January 1, 2020 will not need a Tax Verification Letter unless that contract is extended or renewed.
The following contracts for goods, services and construction do not require a Tax Verification Letter:
- Contracts valued at less than $100,000, including all fees, expenses and all options to renew or extend
- Contracts being entered into in response to an unforeseen emergency
- Contracts where only one vendor is qualified to provide the goods, services or construction.
Contracts related to government transfer payments that are covered by Chapter 21 of the Province’s Core Policy and Procedures Manual (i.e., grants, entitlements and shared cost arrangements) are excluded from the requirement.
Obtaining a Tax Verification Letter
Vendors can request a Tax Verification Letter:
A Tax Verification Letter can be used for multiple contracts and is valid for one year from the date it is issued.
If your Business Number changed within one year from the date your Tax Verification Letter was issued, you must request a new one using your new Business Number. This applies even if you’re currently in a contract with the B.C. government.
The legal entity entering into the contract must be the same entity listed on the Tax Verification Letter.
Vendors may obtain the tax verification letter online through eTaxBC.
If you already have an eTaxBC account:
- Log on to your eTaxBC account
- Request Documents
- Enter all required information, then select Next
- Review and certify the information given is correct, then select Submit
Watch the Tax Verification Letter Request Using eTaxBC Tutorial video for step by step instructions.
If you’re compliant with your accounts, your Tax Verification Letter will be generated and available within 24 hours to print or download for your records.
If you don’t have an eTaxBC account, you will need to create eTaxBC logon first.
Watch the eTaxBC Enrolment Tutorial video for step by step instructions.
Once you receive confirmation that you have successfully enrolled in eTaxBC, you can then request the Tax Verification Letter by logging on to you eTaxBC account and request documents.
If you prefer to complete a paper application form, contact the Ministry of Finance at 1 877 387-3332 to request a paper application be mailed to you. You will need to account for additional time when mailing a paper application. Your Tax Verification Letter should arrive in the mail within four weeks of mailing your application.
What to Do with Your Letter
Provide a copy of your Tax Verification Letter to the contact person at the procuring ministry. They must receive your letter before the contract can be awarded, extended or renewed unless an exception applies.
Tax Verification Letters FAQs
Please visit the Tax Verification FAQ page for frequently asked questions and their answers.