Provincial sin tax hikes kick in today

Carbon tax increases, PST on soda pop and 'Netflix tax' goes into effect today

Among the new tax kicking in today is the PST applied to streaming services like Netflix. | Gil C, Shutterstock

Kids will pay more for pop, tweens will pay more to vape, their parents will pay more for gas, and the whole family will pay more to watch a movie on Netflix or other streaming service, starting today, as a suite of deferred provincial sin taxes kick in.

The B.C. carbon tax increased by $5 per tonne today, adding about one cent to a litre of gasoline, and two new taxes that were supposed to go into effect one year ago but were deferred, went into effect today.

Last year’s carbon tax hike, which takes effect annually on April 1, was deferred last year, due to the pandemic. It applies to gasoline, diesel and natural gas for home heating.

An exemption on the 7% provincial sales tax (PST) for sweetened beverages, which was scheduled to be removed last year, was also deferred. As of today, the PST will apply to all sweetened beverages, not just ones with sugar.

The PST will also be applied to a range of e-commerce and streaming services, including services not located in Canada, like Netflix, Disney Plus and Spotify. The so-called "Netflix tax" is actually broader than just a tax on streaming services. It also applies to some e-commerce products, including vaping products sold online.

It will apply to out-of-province businesses that sell software or telecommunication services “for use on or in relation to an electronic device” to British Columbians.

nbennett@biv.com

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