In case you missed it, in February, the federal Department of Finance announced its “Transitional rules relating to the elimination of the harmonized sales tax in British Columbia.” BC is aiming to revert from the unpopular harmonized sales tax to separate provincial and federal sales taxes by April 1, 2013.
Employee benefits are subject to provincial sales in both Ontario and Québec, at 8 and 9 percent respectively. These sales taxes only apply to coverage provided through group plans so, for example, term life insurance provided to just one individual is not subject to tax. These taxes are separate from the normal HST, GST or QST that apply in these provinces. These taxes apply to both employee and employer payments of premiums for the coverage or benefits supplied.
If you’ve been following the story of Quebec’s efforts to harmonize its sales tax (the QST) with the federal Goods and Services Tax, you probably know that it took a bit longer than expected, besides the 19 previous years of semi-harmonization during which nothing really happened. The federal government and the province originally set a deadline of September 15 to reach a deal, but they subsequently extended the period, and as of Friday, the deed is done—kind of.