Heli-Skiing Canada Just Got Cheaper!
You probably haven’t heard that for a while.
Bottom Line: Heliskiing Canada will cost non-Canadians 3.5% less next year, and Canadians will pay 7% less.
You should consider paying for your trip after April 30, or asking your heliski operator to tax you at the new rate!
Alphabet Soup: GST, HST, PST
Canada has a value-added tax on most things under a national General Sales Tax (GST). Introduced at 7% in 1991, it has been reduced to 6% in 2006 and again to 5% in 2008.
GST National Goods and Services Tax
- 1991 Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 7% goes into effect as a consumption tax.
- 2006 GST reduced to 6%
- 2008 GST reduced to 5% (good trend, eh?)
2009 Effective Heli-Skiing Tax Rate
- Canadians 5%
- Non-Canadians 2.5%
Non-Canadians get a break, as the only half of these taxes apply to tourists.
PST Provincial Sales Tax
BC adopted a Provincial Sales Tax (PST) in 1948. Since inception, heliskiing in Canada was exempt from PST , along with lift tickets and transportation. It has remained around 7% since heliskiing began.
HST Harmonized Sales Tax
In 2010, BC switched from the PST to a HST, the Hamonized Sales Tax ( a great oxymoron, eh) to be more compatible with other provinces. Heliskiing was not exempt from PST *, so the tax rate on BC heliskiing increased by the amount of the HST, 7%.
2011 Canadian Effective Heli-Skiing Tax = 12%
2011 Non-Canadian Effective Heli-Skiing Tax = 6%
Return to PST
In August of 2011 a referendum by mail eliminated the HST (54% in favor). It will be replaced by the previous PST, at roughly the same rate. And, travel services are exempt. Voila, once again heliskiing rates will decrease by the amount of the PST.
2014 Canadian Effective Heli-Skiing Tax = 5%
2014 Non-Canadian Effective Heli-Skiing Tax = 2.5%
So again, make sure the bulk of your payments for 2014 heliskiing occur after April 30, and/or ask your operator for the tax break.
Let me know if you have questions.
* HST added an additional 7% of sales tax to the following items:
- Certain school supplies
- Private Sale of automobiles
- Thermal insulation, weather stripping, and caulking
- First aid kits
- Smoke detectors valued less than $250
- Food producing plants and trees
- Household moving services
- Adult sized clothing for children
- Shoe repair
- Tailoring services
- Dry cleaning
- Used adult clothing purchased for less than $100
- Snack foods
- Restaurant meals
- Catering and event planning services
- Basic cable television
- Local residential phone
- Repair to certain household appliances
- Repair, maintenance or renovation services for real property
- Landscaping, lawn-care, private snow removal, and house cleaning
- Computer software repair services
- Camping sites
- Domestic air, rail and bus travel originating in British Columbia
- Motor vehicle parking
- Real estate commissions
- Massage therapy services
- Over-the-counter medications
- Admission to professional sporting events
- Movie tickets
- Safety helmets for sports
- Golf memberships and driving range fees
- Gym and athletic memberships
- Ballet, karate, trampoline, hockey, soccer lessons, etc.
- Tickets for live theatre
- Admission to museums and art galleries
- Music concerts
- Ski lift passes
- Children’s sized ski boots
- Hockey rink and rental halls
- Music or video purchased and downloaded electronically.
- Funeral services
- Fitness trainers
- Hair stylists/barbers
- Accounting services
- Interior design services
- Wedding planning services
- Veterinarian services
- Chewing tobacco
- Nicotine replacement products
- Personal Protective Equipment including: helmets, harnesses, safety footwear, eye protection etc.