HST for B.C. and Ontario

As a small business owner I am gearing up to start applying the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) to my company’s services, in effect July 1, 2010 or earlier. I note this has implications for both those of us who reside in these provinces and those who reside outside these provinces but provide goods and services to residents of B.C. and Ontario. Here are some of the explanatory resources I have found:

I am sure a lot of law and accounting firms have put advisory bulletins together for their clients. Do you have any recommendations on additional reading?


  1. Agnese, thank you–this is very helpful. I was on the PwC website last night but didn’t manage to find this.


  2. Here at CLEBC we’ve created a HST FAQ sheet by adapting course materials from our recent Harmonized Sales Tax in BC course.

  3. What a great idea, Susan. Thank you for sharing it with us!


  4. Why are only some publishers (of serials titles) charging HST on shipping and not others?

    Will the publishers of serials titles who are currently not charging the hst on shipping change their policy and start charging or are there exemptions that account for the difference in rates? An additional 60¢ per title will be significant. Will we be forced to pay any uncollected tax on shipping pro rated to the start of July 2010?

    With regard to exemptions, I am getting confused… there is the Litchman report suggesting shipping is taxable, but then there is the CRA report for publishers, and do we first add the shipping cost to the unit cost before calculating the shipping tax total, or is the tax merely applied to the shipping cost (see the Litchman Consulting link for this suggestion)?

  5. for example: is Carswell Thomson Reuters a “subscription agent” as defined in the CRA HST information for suppliers of publications document?

  6. You raise some interesting questions, Sean, for which I have no answers. I wonder if anyone in our publishing industry is at liberty to respond?

    Failing that, I think you might have to ask the publishers individually. My guess is since this is so new it is probably still open to some interpretation, and they are going by what their individual accountants or legal counsel are directing them to do. As I recall, we saw similar confusion when the GST was originally implemented.