Tobacco and Fuel Tax Exemption Simplification Project

The B.C. Ministry of Finance launched a multi-year project to modernize and replace the current paper-based exemption process for tax-exempt sales of tobacco and fuel made on-reserve in B.C.

The project is focused on developing and implementing a new electronic point of sale verification and documentation system we're calling the TAFT system.

The new electronic system will:

  • Improve the service experience for First Nations customers when making tax-exempt tobacco or fuel purchases

  • Streamline the process for retailers by eliminating the paper-based documentation process for capturing individual purchases

  • Deliver real-time electronic verification of eligibility for tax-exempt tobacco and fuel purchases

  • Make efficient record keeping easier for retailers

On this page:


About the TAFT system

Retailers will use a dedicated point of sale (POS) system running on a government-provided tablet to electronically verify the eligibility of tax-exempt purchasers and document tax-exempt tobacco and fuel sales in real-time. A web-based application that can run on existing hardware is also available. 

The TAFT system will need internet access but will be able to record purchases made during offline periods and provide updates once connectivity is regained.

There will be no fee to set up the system or for ongoing access or technical support for the system.

The new electronic system will be offered to retailers to use on a voluntary basis, with the planned roll-out in fall 2022.

Retailer and consumer feedback are an important part of designing the new system. If you’d like to participate in the project, see volunteer opportunities.

Project updates and announcements

Updates to the project are posted here. Read the most recent update below and browse past updates.

To stay informed on the project, subscribe to receive updates.

May 2022

Development of the new system is on schedule and progress includes:

  • A POS mobile app that runs on an iPad tablet that is ready for field testing
  • Development of electronic return filing for retailers using the TAFT system to replace paper-based filing

Previous updates and announcements

To view all the past updates, click Expand All below.

Development of the new system is on schedule. Progress includes:

  • Creating a demo-ready POS mobile app that runs on an iPad tablet
  • Creating a real-time verification adjudication service component
  • Working with existing POS system vendors to ensure they can connect to our verification and documentation system through a modern application programming interface (API)

We're working with AppsOn Time Technologies Ltd. to begin developing the new electronic system. 

Over the next few months, we'll be conducting workshops to:

  • Better understand how retailers and consumers would use a new electronic system 
  • Give retailers and consumers the opportunity to provide their input for a new electronic system

AppsOn Time Technologies Ltd. (AOT Technologies) contracted to build the new electronic point of sale verification and documentation system.

Indigenuity Consulting Group Inc. contracted to provide engagement consulting services.

Highway Three Solutions Ltd. contracted to provide project director services.

 


Engagement and communication

The B.C. Ministry of Finance is engaging with on-reserve retailers who sell tax-exempt tobacco and fuel to gather feedback to inform the design of the new electronic system. 

Engagement activities

May 2022

Our project team has received feedback from over 50 on-reserve retailers. The team was busy as it travelled to all corners of the province to demonstrate the new iPad app and had informative discussions on how to improve documenting tobacco and fuel sales.  

Previous activities

 

October 2021

Over 25 on-reserve retailers have met with our project team for feedback sessions, both through phone calls and in-person store visits. These feedback sessions provided valuable knowledge about on-reserve retailers’ documentation and reporting needs and are informing the design of the system.    

We are planning more feedback sessions to take place later this fall.

Feedback sessions are happening with on-reserve retailers that volunteered to provide input and feedback into the new electronic system. Our project partners are gathering valuable information that will be used in the system design.

The Ministry hired Indigenuity Consulting Group Inc. (Indigenuity) to provide First Nations engagement services to support the project.

The engagement included two phases:

  1. The first phase of engagement consisted of an online survey sent to retailers and customers with questions related to:

    • Current practices around tobacco and fuel tax exempt purchases
    • Barriers to, or interest in, a new system
  2. The second phase consisted of phone interviews to collect more in-depth information

A report, Tobacco and Fuel Tax Exemption Study: Retailer Engagement Summary and Analysis (PDF), summarizes the survey results (PDF) from our engagement with retailers. This engagement initiative will inform the design and implementation of a new technology solution.

 

Communication

To support the engagement, the Ministry is communicating with First Nations chiefs and councils and authorized tax-exempt tobacco and fuel retailers on reserves.

Volunteer

Throughout the system development process, we'll need retailers and consumers to provide input and feedback on the system.

Retailers

If you’re a retailer, you can now volunteer to share your thoughts and preferences, discuss system changes and provide feedback by:

  • Participating in one-on-one discussions with our project partners - this can take place in your store, or virtually, your choice
  • Participating in a virtual workshop with other retailers led by our project partners

We’re also looking for volunteers to:

  • Become early adopters to test early versions of the system in spring 2022
  • Use the system once it’s launched

If you’d like to sign up to participate for any of these volunteer opportunities, email TAFTproject@gov.bc.ca.

Consumers

If you’re a consumer of tax-exempt tobacco or fuel and you’d like to provide your ideas for the new system or test the system during development, email us at TAFTproject@gov.bc.ca.


Project partners

The B.C. Ministry of Finance is partnering with the following companies to help develop the new electronic point of sale verification and documentation system for tax-exempt sales of tobacco and fuel made on-reserve:

  • Indigenuity Consulting Group Inc.
  • Highway Three Solutions Ltd.
  • AppsOn Time Technologies Ltd. (AOT Technologies)

If you’re participating throughout the development process of the system, you may be contacted by our partners.

 

Last updated: May 2022