COVID-19 Updates: Provincial Tax & Revenue Changes

The B.C. government is bringing financial relief for people and businesses as we address the effects of COVID-19

This page contains updates to provincial tax and revenue changes and will be updated as information becomes available. 

Subscribe for COVID-19 tax and revenue updates

On this page:

Application for B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers

You can apply now for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers, a tax-free, one time $1,000 payment for B.C. residents whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19. 

Find out if you’re eligible, what you need to apply, and how to apply.

Information added on repayments of the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers and how they can be made. Updated May 13, 2020

Deferred Tax Payments

Effective immediately, B.C. is extending filing and payment deadlines for the following taxes.

Employer Health Tax

Logging Tax

Sales Taxes

  • Provincial sales tax (including municipal and regional district tax*)
  • Carbon tax
  • Motor fuel tax
  • Tobacco tax

See the following notices for more information:

*Municipal and regional district tax (MRDT) is the additional 2 or 3% tax on accommodation

Delayed PST Budget 2020 Tax Changes

The following tax changes announced in Budget 2020 will be postponed until further notice:

  • Eliminating the PST exemption for carbonated beverages that contain sugar, natural sweeteners or artificial sweeteners
  • Expanded registration requirements for Canadian sellers of goods, along with Canadian and foreign sellers of software and telecommunication services

Delayed Carbon Tax Increase

Carbon tax rates will remain at their current levels until further notice. The tax measure announced in Budget 2020 aligning the carbon tax rates with the federal carbon pricing backstop is also postponed until further notice.

See Notice 2020-002, COVID-19 Sales Tax Changes (PDF) for more information. 

Reduced School Tax Rates for Businesses

School tax rates for commercial properties are reduced for the 2020 tax year.

On April 16, 2020, the school property tax was lowered again and classes 7 and 8 are now included. Overall, the commercial property tax bill for most businesses will be reduced by 25% on average.

Postponed Property Tax Late Payment Penalties for Businesses

Rural property tax due dates have not changed.

For rural area properties, late payment penalties for classes 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are postponed to November 3, 2020. Learn more about important property tax dates for rural area properties.

For municipal property tax due dates and penalty dates, please contact your municipality or review your tax notice.

Support for Local Governments

Support for local governments so they can meet their operational costs and required remittances to regional districts, regional hospital districts, TransLink and transit authorities, BC Assessment, the Municipal Finance Authority and other taxing authorities.

  • Authorized to borrow, interest-free, from their existing capital reserves to help pay for operating expenses, such as employee salaries
  • Provincial school tax remittances are delayed until the end of the year
  • Greater flexibility to carry debt for an additional year

B.C. Early Childhood Tax Benefit

The Federal government announced benefit payments will continue for an additional three months for those who are not able to file their 2019 income tax returns on time.

This will also apply to the B.C. Early Childhood Tax Benefit payments for July 2020 to September 2020. Updated May 21, 2020

Enhanced B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit

An additional one-time payment will be made in July 2020 on top of the regular climate action tax credit amount for qualifying individuals and families.

The previously scheduled credit increase effective July 2020 remains the same.

The Federal government announced benefit payments will continue for an additional three months for those who are not able to file their 2019 income tax returns on time. This will also apply to the enhanced B.C. climate action tax credit payment for July 2020. Updated May 21, 2020

Suspended Debt Collection

Most debt collection activities are suspended until further notice. If you need help with arranging flexible payment options or with your account, staff are available to assist you.

To contact us or for information on payment options, refer to your Statement of Account.