Eva van Emden (she/her), freelance editor

Certified copy editor and proofreader


April 4, 2013

Change to GST for BC freelancers

On April 1, 2013, BC went from HST back to GST. How does this affect freelance editors?

Freelance editors: Here’s what you need to know

Do I need to register for a PST number?

No. There’s no need to apply for a PST registration number because professional services other than legal services are exempt from PST.

What tax do I charge?

From April 1, 2013, editors charge GST only. Use your existing GST/HST number.

Place of supply

The place of supply rules stay the same as before: an editor who lives in BC charges a client the HST or GST rate of the province where the client is located (see the rules about place of supply). So I charge BC clients 5% GST, but when I work for a client in Ontario, I charge 13% HST. As before, when I work for a client outside the country, I charge no tax at all.

GST/HST rates by province (information taken from CRA)

This is how much GST/HST you charge a client in this province.

ProvinceBefore April 1, 2013After April 1, 2013
Alberta (GST)5%5%
British Columbia12% (HST)5% (GST)
Manitoba (GST)5%5%
New Brunswick (HST)13%13%
Newfoundland and Labrador (HST)13%13%
Northwest Territories (GST)5%5%
Nova Scotia (HST)15%15%
Nunavut (GST)5%5%
Ontario (HST)13%13%
Prince Edward Island5% (GST)14% (HST)
Saskatchewan (GST)5%5%
Yukon (GST)5%5%

Quick method remittance rate

If you use the quick method of GST/HST accounting (this is probably the right method for editors to use, unless they subcontract out a lot of work), your remittance rate is now 3.6% for BC clients. This is the remittance rate for a service provider based in a non-participating province (which BC is now) to a client in a non-participating province. (A “participating” province has HST; a “non-participating” province has GST.) Your remittance rates for income earned from clients in other provinces stays the same (except PEI, which instituted HST this April 1). Don’t forget that this new 3.6% remittance rate for BC clients only applies to your income from April 1 onward.

Quick method remittance rates for work done in BC (information taken from CRA)

This is how much GST/HST an editor in BC remits.

Client is in this provinceRate before April 1, 2013Rate after April 1, 2013
BC (participation changed)8.2% (part.)3.6% (non-part.)
Ontario (participating)9%10.5%
Quebec (non-participating)2.1%3.6%
Nova Scotia (participating)10.6%12%
Prince Edward Island (participation changed)2.1% (non-part.)11.3% (part.)
Other participating province9%10.5%
Other non-participating province2.1%3.6%

Sources for my information

Changes to the Harmonized Sales Tax
BC Government: PST exemptions (see the sidebar “Non-Taxable Sales & Services”)
CRA: List of GST/HST rates by province
CRA: Place of supply rules for services

As always, this is backed up by a few calls to the CRA help line.

Other tax information

See also:

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