PST seminars coming to Ladysmith and Chemainus Feb. 7

Ministry of Finance staff will be in Ladysmith and Chemainus to talk about transitioning back to the PST during seminars on Feb. 7.

The reimplementation of the Provincial Sales Tax may coincide with April Fools’ Day, but the B.C. Ministry of Finance (MoF) and local chambers of commerce are treating it as anything but a joke.

Interactive “webinars” are scheduled to take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from now until late February to coincide with seminars to be hosted in communities throughout the province.

Seminars will take place in Ladysmith and Chemainus on Thursday, Feb. 7 to guide business owners and self-employed contractors through the process of replacing the HST with the PST.

The seminars are “strictly business-related,” said Jeanne Ross, co-ordinator of the Chemainus and District Chamber of Commerce (CDCOC). “Members of the general public would not be interested because [the seminars] are for people who have to do the book keeping and fill out the forms and that kind of stuff.”

Representatives of the MoF will be on hand to speak with those present and to answer their questions, Ross added.

Members of the Chemainus business community are invited to attend a mid-day seminar — hosted by the CDCOC and Jaime Meunier Chartered Accountant Inc. — scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. at the Mount Brenton Golf Course club house.

Pre-registration for the seminar is necessary, Ross said, and lunch is available if ordered in advance.

A second seminar will be hosted by the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce (LCOC) and the Ladysmith Downtown Business Association (LDBA) in Ladysmith Thursday, Feb. 7 from 4-6 p.m. upstairs at the Royal Canadian Legion.

LDBA member Tammy Leslie of Palmer Leslie Chartered Accountants said the seminars provide an opportunity for business owners to “ask questions of actual Ministry of Finance officials and employees to find out exactly what, for their specific business, they need or don’t need to do. Who needs to register. Who doesn’t.”

Leslie added that she spoke “to a plumber and he was very confused as to what he should be charging [PST] on. For someone like him, it would be very useful to come and find out exactly what he needs to do.”

Many of the rules governing the new PST are similar to those that were in place prior to the introduction of the HST, but Leslie said “some things have changed. There are enough changes there that a person would want to be informed, or at least do a little bit of research into [how the changes affect] their particular business. If you think there’s a chance you’re going to have to collect it, I think you should probably attend the seminar to find out exactly what you have to do, what’s taxable and what changes have been brought in.”

For more information on the reimplementation of PST and to view schedules for MoF outreach webinars, visit the Ministry of Finance website at www.gov.bc.ca/fin/ and follow the “Return to PST” link.

To register for the Chemainus seminar, call Jeanne Ross at 250-246-3944.

Registration for the Ladysmith seminar is available through the LCOC at 250-245-2112.