Audits for stumpage and export fees
An audit is an examination of your records to make sure you have reported your timber volumes and paid your stumpage and export fees correctly. If you harvest, purchase or sell timber from Crown land in B.C., it’s your responsibility to ensure timber volumes are reported completely and accurately.
If you export timber or wood residues from B.C. under an exemption, you must ensure that all required export fees are paid to the government for the timber or wood residue exported.
Forest revenue audit program
The forest revenue audit program was established on March 30, 2006 under Part 11.1 of the Forest Act. This program helps ensure the province receives the correct amount of stumpage from the harvesting of Crown timber and allows the Ministry of Finance to conduct inspections and audits, and assess under reported or unreported stumpage.
Part 11.1 of the Forest Act was amended on November 25, 2021 to provide the Ministry of Finance with the authority to audit export fees.
Any business or individual that holds an agreement to harvest, or that purchases or sells timber from Crown land in B.C. can be audited. Any business or individual who exports timber or wood residue under an exemption can also be audited.
What happens during an audit?
If you have been selected for an audit, the auditor will contact you to set up any meetings that are needed and to let you know what records need to be accessed.
Using the Case ID provided, you can submit requested documents through our secure online service.
The audit process includes interviews, an examination of internal procedures and practices and a review of books and records that relate to your harvesting, purchasing or selling of Crown timber.
If the amounts you have reported are incorrect or inaccurate, an adjustment will be made.
What happens after an audit?
When the audit is complete, you will be informed of the findings and given a reasonable amount of time to review the results before the audit is finalized.
If an adjustment is required, you will be issued a Notice of Assessment for the amount that you owe and any interest or penalties that apply.
Interest is applied at a rate of prime plus 3%. Interest is calculated from the date the stumpage would have been due if reported correctly and accurately.
Interest is calculated either on the date the export permit was granted or January 1 of the year in which the timber or wood residue was removed from B.C., as applicable.
A penalty may also be included in your audit assessment. Penalties can be:
- up to 25% of the assessment amount if you:
- made a mistake when you reported the required information relating to the timber or wood residue
- up to 100% of the assessment amount if you:
- intentionally reported incomplete or inaccurate information
Assessment limitation period
You could be assessed for up to six years from the date you reported or should have reported the required information relating to the timber or wood residue.
You can voluntarily extend the six year assessment period by submitting a Waiver of the Time Period for Assessment (PDF). Extending the assessment period could improve the accuracy of the assessment by allowing extra time to collect information and discuss the audit results before an assessment is made.
If you submit a waiver and it’s approved, it stays in place until six months after you submit a Notice of Revocation of Waiver (PDF). Once a notice of revocation is submitted, it can’t be cancelled.
There is no assessment limitation period if you:
- Commit fraud
- Intentionally misrepresent information you reported
- Intentionally fail to submit your reports