Guide to completing the PST return
Last updated: February 1, 2023
This guide explains how to complete the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) Return (FIN 400) (PDF, 1.1MB).
If you’re a PST registered business that has an eTaxBC account, you can file PST returns and pay PST using the eTaxBC online system. eTaxBC is the easiest and fastest way to file your PST returns and pay your taxes. Learn more about creating an eTaxBC account.
If you’re a PST registered business that hasn't signed up for an eTaxBC account, you’ll receive a paper PST return by mail at the end of each reporting period.
If you don’t receive a PST return and it's getting close to when you need to file your return and pay PST, you can download and complete a blank Provincial Sales Tax Return (FIN 400) (PDF, 1.1MB). You can send the return and payment to us or take it to your nearest Service BC Centre.
Your completed PST return and payment must be received on or before the last day of the month following the end of the reporting period.
You use the PST return to:
- Calculate and pay the PST collected on your sales during your reporting period
- Self-assess and pay the PST due on items you purchased during your reporting period for business or personal use without paying PST
You must file a PST return even if you didn’t make any taxable sales or have any PST to self-assess during the reporting period.
Don’t use your PST return to pay any other amounts you owe us, such as amounts owing from an audit or fees for a dishonoured cheque. In these cases, you'll be sent a separate notice that includes payment instructions.
If you're registered to collect PST on accommodation located within a participating Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) area, you must file both a PST return and a Municipal and Regional District Tax Return (FIN 401) (PDF, 412KB).
This means you report the PST on the PST return and you report the MRDT on the MRDT Return. While PST and MRDT must be reported on separate returns, you may remit a single payment to cover both returns. Read the Guide to Completing the MRDT Return.
Enter all amounts in Canadian dollars.
Box A - Total Sales and Leases
Enter the total amount of all your sales and leases in Canada for the period including:
- Taxable and non-taxable sales or leases, including accommodation
- Any conditional sales or sales on installments
- Sales or leases made on credit
- Sales of propane, regardless of whether PST or Motor Fuel Tax is applicable
Don't include any tax.
Box B - Tax Collectable on Sales and Leases
Enter the total amount of PST collectable (either collected, or charged but not collected) on all taxable sales and leases. This includes PST you may have incorrectly charged to your customer.
Note: Your customer may be entitled to a refund of the PST they were incorrectly charged. If you refund your customer after you remitted the PST to us, you can claim an adjustment on your next return - See Step 4 for more information.
If applicable, also include the:
- 0.4% ICE Fund tax amounts collectable on sales of energy products
- $1.50 per day Passenger Vehicle Rental Tax collectable on leases of passenger vehicles
Box C – Commission
Enter the commission amount as detailed on the worksheet. To be eligible for commission, you must file your return and pay PST in full by the due date. If you’re using eTaxBC this box is calculated for you.
If your business operates more than one location under the same legal entity and you receive separate PST returns for different locations, you may only claim commission on one PST return. We will designate one of your locations as the primary account and the other locations as secondary accounts. Commission can only be claimed on the PST return for the primary account and is to be calculated only on the amount of PST remitted under the primary account.
If you operate more than one location and receive only one PST return, commission is calculated based on the total PST collectable from all the locations operated by the same legal entity.
To ensure you’re eligible for the maximum commission allowance possible, you may consolidate your activities under one account and receive only one PST return per period. For more information, please contact us.
Box D - Net Tax Due on Sales and Leases
Enter the total PST collectable on all sales (Box B) minus your commission allowance (Box C). If you’re using eTaxBC this box is calculated for you.
Box E - Purchase and Lease Price of Taxable Goods, Software and Services
Enter the total cost of any taxable goods, software or services you purchased or leased for business use without paying PST.
You are required to pay PST on everything you use for operating your business unless a specific exemption applies. Examples of taxable purchases and leases include:
- Stationery, furniture and office equipment
- Advertising materials, such as flyers or brochures
- Items purchased or manufactured to be given away as promotional materials
- Cleaning supplies
- Computer hardware and software, except custom software. Learn more about software (PDF, 425KB)
- Goods removed from resale inventory for use in your business
- Goods purchased from out-of-province suppliers where applicable PST wasn’t collected by the seller
Box F - Tax Due on Purchases and Leases
Enter the PST due on the total cost of all purchases and leases of taxable goods, software and services (Box E).
Learn more about the PST rates.
Box G - Tax Payable Before Adjustments
Enter the total of the Net Tax Due on Sales and Leases (Box D) plus the Tax Due on Purchases and Leases (Box F). If you’re using eTaxBC this box is calculated for you.
You must keep supporting documentation for any adjustments you claim. We may contact you to request documentation to verify the adjustment amounts claimed or they may be requested during an audit.
Box H - Tax on Bad Debt Write-Off
Enter the amount of PST remitted (paid) on goods sold on credit where the debt was later deemed uncollectable and written off.
You must claim this adjustment in the same reporting period that the amount payable was written off. If you don’t claim the adjustment in the same reporting period, you must apply for a refund. You must apply for the refund within four years of the date the amount was written off. Learn more about bad debts in Bulletin CTB 001, Bad Debts (PDF, 193KB).
If you received partial payment prior to write-off, calculate the amount of the adjustment using the following formula:
Adjustment amount = PST remitted X (amount unpaid ÷ total amount payable)
Bad Debts Recovered
If any of the amounts written off as bad debts are later recovered, you must remit the PST on the PST return for the period that the amount was recovered using the following formula:
Amount to be added in Box B = PST remitted X (amount recovered ÷ total amount payable)
Box I - Tax on Amounts Refunded or Credited to Customers
Enter the amount of any PST that you credited or refunded to your customers but have previously remitted to us. For example, PST you refunded to your customer to correct a billing error.
You must claim this adjustment in the same reporting period that you credited or refunded your customer. If you don’t claim the adjustment in the same reporting period, you must apply for a refund. You must apply for the refund within four years of the date the amount was refunded.
Learn more about when you can refund your customer the PST in Bulletin PST 400, PST Refunds (PDF, 471KB).
Box J - Total Adjustments
Enter the total of the amounts claimed in Box H and Box I. If you’re using eTaxBC this box is calculated for you.
Box K - Total Amount Due
Enter the total of the amount from Box G minus the amount from Box J. If you’re using eTaxBC this box is calculated for you.
The amount calculated in Box K is the amount of PST you owe. You must pay the full amount in Box K to avoid any interest or penalty charges. If the amount calculated is negative, a credit will be applied to your account.
eTaxBC account filers
Once you’ve completed the PST return worksheet, follow the instructions in eTaxBC to file and pay your return. To avoid penalty, interest and loss of commission, you must file and pay your PST return on or before the due date.
Learn more about reporting and paying tax using eTaxBC.
Mandatory electronic filers
If you're a business with at least $1.5 million in total Canadian sales and leases per year, you are required to file your returns and remit PST electronically. If you don't use eTaxBC to file and pay PST electronically, use the options below.
To file returns electronically, use your financial institution's filing and payment services, if available.
To remit tax electronically, use:
- Your financial institution's filing and payment services OR
- Your financial institution's online banking or electronic funds transfer system.
Not all financial institutions offer online banking, electronic funds transfer or electronic filing and payment services. Check with your financial institution to see what services they offer.
Paper PST return filers
Front of remittance form
If your identification information is pre-printed on your PST return, check that all the information is correct. If any information is wrong, write the correction on the remittance form. If you’re completing a blank PST return, enter the information indicated below in the corresponding fields on the remittance form.
Legal Business Name - enter the legal name of your business.
Business Closed Permanently or Temporarily - If your business has closed, send us a completed Request to Close Provincial Sales Tax Account (FIN 357) (PDF, 301KB)
It’s important that you notify us if you’ve closed your business because we will continue to send you PST returns. If you don’t file the returns, you’ll be billed for estimated PST due, plus penalty and interest.
Business Number - enter your nine digit business number.
Registration Number - enter the PST number you were given when you registered to collect PST.
Due Date - if your reporting period is one or more months, your due date is the last day of the month after the end of your reporting period. For example, if you’re reporting for a period ending July 31, the due date for your PST return is August 31.
Businesses with accounting periods that don't correspond to calendar months, such as businesses with 13-period fiscal years, that have requested PST reporting periods that match their accounting periods have a due date that's 30 days after the last day of the reporting period. For example, if your reporting period ends on June 23, 2013, the PST return and payment are due no later than July 23, 2013.
Period Covered - enter the reporting period for the PST return you’re filing. If you’re filing a revised return, enter the reporting period of the original return.
Amount Paid - enter the total amount of your payment enclosed.
Back of remittance form
Enter the amounts from the worksheet in the corresponding boxes on the remittance form. If you’re filing an amended PST return, make sure you check the “Amended” box on the remittance form.
Complete and sign the certification section and detach the completed remittance form. Keep the PST worksheet for your records.
Filing your return
To file your PST return, send us the completed remittance form along with full payment:
Learn more about the different options on how to file and pay your PST return.
To avoid penalty, interest and loss of commission, PST returns and full payment must be received and dated on or before the due date by a financial institution, Service BC Centre or our office. If mailed, the PST return with full payment must be postmarked by Canada Post on or before the due date. Meter marks and non-Canadian postmarks aren't used to determine if a return or payment is on time.
Fees apply to any dishonoured payments.