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B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Sweetened soft drinks, vaping products and digital services such as Netflix and others will be subject to B.C.’s seven-per-cent provincial sales tax as of April 1.

The B.C. government announced that it was ending a PST exemptions for sweetened drinks and imposing the new digital services tax in its February 2020 budget, but then suspended the moves when it declared a state of emergency for COVID-19 a month later. Sales tax is already paid by Canadian streaming services such as CraveTV, and the new measure extends it to foreign-based services such as Netflix and Disney+.

“All sellers of digital software and telecommunication services will be required to collect PST on sales to B.C. customers if they have B.C. revenues of more than $10,000,” the finance ministry said in a statement March 5. “As part of these new requirements, beginning April 1, all Canadian sellers of vapour products will be required to register to collect PST on all online or mail-order sales to B.C. customers.”

The 2020 budget removed the exemption for sweetened carbonated beverages, removing them from the classification of “food products for human consumption” on the advice of public health authorities. Sales tax will apply to all carbonated drinks containing, sugar, natural or artificial sweeteners, including from soda fountains, soda guns and vending machines.

RELATED: B.C. Liberals say ‘Netflix tax’ one of 23 increases under NDP

RELATED: Ottawa prepares to impose GST on digital streaming services


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