There is an interesting article in The Globe and Mail on public policy and tax. It is written by Tony Wilson, Vancouver franchise lawyer.
I’m going to say it right upfront, so you know exactly where I stand: the HST is good public policy and a good tax.
Most tax lawyers and economists agree with me. Here’s why:
First of all, you get rid of an entire provincial government department charged with collecting a tax and passing the expense on to the federal government. Good riddance.
Second, it’s good for business. Business will get input tax credits on the full 12 per cent in BC, and 13 per cent in Ontario, and it won’t have to deal with the archaic and byzantine rules that applied to the old PST regimes. With some exceptions, the GST rules and the HST rules will be the same. And the streamlining will be more efficient for business.
The proof is in the pudding in B.C. My law office and other law firms in Vancouver are already acting for U.S. businesses that could have otherwise located in no-sales-tax Alberta, but they are coming to B.C. It’s not just because of the lifestyle, the ocean and the mountains, it’s because of the input tax credits and no longer having to swallow the 7 per cent PST. (Note to anti-HST leaders in B.C.: these are businesses that are hiring British Columbians).