2021 British Columbia Budget Summary

| 4/21/2021
2021 British Columbia Budget Summary
On April 20, 2021, British Columbia Finance Minister Selina Robinson announced the 2021 British Columbia Budget. No changes were made to the existing personal and corporate tax rates and some of the highlights of the Budget are summarized below.
Income Tax Measures
Provincial Sales Tax Measures
Other Measures
Income Tax Measures
2021 BC Budget Income Tax Measures

Book Publishing Tax Credit Extended

As previously announced, the book publishing tax credit is extended for five years to March 31, 2026.

Requirement to Repay B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers Waived

Self-employed individuals are not required to repay the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers if they would have qualified for the benefit or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit based on their gross income. This announcement mirrors a federal change to the rules surrounding the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Mining Flow-Through Share Tax Credit Eligibility Period Extended

As previously announced, the mining flow-through share tax credit eligibility period during which an expenditure must be incurred by the issuer to be renounced in favour of flow-through shares is temporarily extended by 12 months for eligible agreements. This aligns with proposed temporary federal timelines due to COVID-19.

Climate Action Tax Credit Increase Aligned with Carbon Tax Rate Increase

Effective July 1, 2021, the climate action tax credit rate remains at $174 per adult and $51 per child due to the delay in the carbon tax rate increase. The tax credit rates will increase to $193.50 per adult and $56.50 per child on July 1, 2022, in line with the upcoming carbon tax rate increase.

Provincial Sales Tax Measures
Bike Icon

Exemption for Electric Bicycles and Tricycles

Effective April 21, 2021, electric bicycles and tricycles are generally exempt from provincial sales tax.  Conversion kits used to electrify conventional bicycles and tricycles, and parts and services for electric bicycles and tricycles, are also exempt from provincial sales tax.

Exemption for New Resident’s Effects Temporarily Expanded

Effective March 11, 2019, the exemption for a new resident’s effects is expanded to provide more time for new residents to bring their vehicles and other goods into B.C. without being subject to provincial sales tax.  The expanded time frame is provided in response to COVID-19 travel restrictions.  With this temporary expansion, a new time frame applies to any person who became a resident of B.C. on or after March 11, 2019.  Individuals who would otherwise qualify for the exemption will now have until the earlier of January 1, 2023 or one year following the end of the most recent quarantine order made under the Quarantine Act (Canada), to bring their personal effects into B.C.

Other Measures
2021 BC Budget Other Measures

Probate Fees

Effective July 1, 2021, amounts received from the federal Memorial Grant Program for First Responders by a person’s estate will not be subject to probate fees under the Probate Fee Act.

Threshold for Home Owner Grant

As previously announced, the threshold for the phase-out of the home owner grant is increased to $1.625 million from $1.525 million for the 2021 tax year. For properties valued above the threshold, the grant is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value that exceeds the threshold.

Speculation and Vacancy Tax Act

Exemption for Registered Charities that Hold Property through a Trustee

Effective November 27, 2018, a residential property owned by a trustee of a trust who is holding legal title for the benefit of a registered charity can claim an exemption from the speculation and vacancy tax. The Speculation and Vacancy Tax Act already provides an exemption for owners that are registered charities and this new exemption ensures that registered charities are also exempt when they are not on legal title, and instead hold property through a trust.

Definition of Beneficial Owner Amended

Effective November 27, 2018, the Speculation and Vacancy Tax Act is amended to clarify that a beneficial owner, whose interest in a residential property is registered in the name of a trustee of a trust and contingent on the death of another individual, is not considered a beneficial owner for the purpose of the speculation and vacancy tax. This change to the definition of beneficial owner with respect to ownership interest contingent on death may affect seniors and their spouses who own homes and are residents of B.C.

For more information on the 2021 British Columbia Budget, please visit the Government of British Columbia's website.


This article has been published for general information. You should always contact your trusted advisor for specific guidance pertaining to your individual tax needs. This publication is not a substitute for obtaining personalized advice.

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