File and pay your employer health tax

Once you've registered to pay the employer health tax, you can file and pay your tax returns online using eTaxBC. You can also allow a third party to pay your employer health tax on your behalf.

The employer health tax return is due on March 31 of the following calendar year.

Employers that cease to have a permanent establishment in B.C. in the calendar year must file their employer health tax return within 90 days of ceasing to have a permanent establishment.

Employers that declare bankruptcy in the calendar year must file their employer health tax return within 90 days of becoming bankrupt.

Employers that amalgamate in the calendar year must contact us at 1-877-387-3332 or ITBTaxQuestions@gov.bc.ca for more information. 

Instalment payments

If your employer health tax in the previous calendar year exceeded $2,925, you must make quarterly instalment payments based on the lesser of:

  • 25% of the previous year’s tax, or
  • 25% of the current year’s estimated tax

Note: Instalment payments are not required for the 2020 calendar year if this is the first year you’re registering for and paying the tax. For all other employers, your previous year’s employer health tax amount will determine whether instalments are required the calendar year.

If you choose to pay instalments based on 25% of the current year’s estimated tax and the instalments are less than 25% of both the current year’s and the prior year’s actual tax, you will be charged interest on the difference.

Except for the 2020 calendar year, instalments are due during the calendar year on:

  • June 15
  • September 15
  • December 15

The COVID-19 action plan extended the instalment due dates for the 2020 calendar year. For more information contact us at 1-877-387-3332 or ITBTaxQuestions@gov.bc.ca

If your estimated employer health tax payable for the current year becomes less than your previous year’s actual tax payable, you may change your instalment payment amount part way through the current year.

See an example below of how you may calculate your instalment payments if you’re in this situation.

The remaining tax payable is due with the employer health tax return by March 31 of the following calendar year.

If you're not required to make instalments, you must pay the entire balance of tax owing on or before the employer health tax return due date of March 31 of the following calendar year.

Note: Charitable and non-profit employers must pay instalments if their employer health tax in the previous calendar year exceeded $2,925.

Use the employer health tax calculator to help you estimate the tax.

You can pay the employer health tax:

Change of instalment payment example

This is an example for how to calculate and pay your instalments if you change your instalment payment amount part way through the current year because your estimated tax payable for the current year is less than your previous year’s actual tax payable.

Your previous year’s actual tax payable was $20,000 and you made an instalment payment of $5,000 (25% of $20,000) for June 15.

However, on September 1, your business operations changed and you now estimate your current year’s tax to be $10,000 – a significant decrease from your previous year’s actual tax payable.

You decide to change the method for calculating instalments for the current year to now be based on your current year’s estimated tax payable instead of your previous year’s actual tax payable.

This means each instalment payment due for the current year is $2,500 (25% of $10,000), rather than $5,000.

Therefore, your breakdown of each instalment payment due for the current year is as follows:

  • June 15: $5,000, which you already paid based on your actual employer health tax payable for the previous year

  • September 15: $0, because you overpaid your June 15 instalment by $2,500

  • December 15: $2,500

Any remaining balance for the current year is payable when you file the tax return for the current year due by March 31 of the following year.

You may still be charged interest from the instalment due date if you underpay your tax instalment payments for the current year. Tax instalments are considered underpaid if they’re less than your actual tax payable for both the current year and the previous year.

Assessment and reassessment

Once we have reviewed your return, a Notice of Assessment will be sent to you. If there are any adjustments to the tax payable, we will provide an explanation of the adjustments with the Notice of Assessment.

We may assess or reassess your return within 6 years of the filing of your return. In cases where you have not filed a return, or you have made any misrepresentation or committed fraud in filing a return or providing information, the 6-year limitation period doesn’t apply.