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British Columbia Budget 2024 Highlights

Last updated: Mar. 27, 2024 

British Columbia Budget 2024 Highlights

The 2024 British Columbia Budget was released by Finance Minister Katrine Conroy, on February 22, 2024.

The Budget is anticipated to result in a deficit of $5.9 billion for 2023 – 2024, and a deficit of $7.9 billion for the 2024-2025 budget year.

No corporate or personal tax rate changes were made, but there were several other revisions proposed. These changes include the introduction of a new residential property flipping tax, exemption threshold changes to various property tax programs, and numerous credit extensions.

Here we’ll provide a summary of key highlights for British Columbians across the province.

Corporate Tax

Corporate tax rates for British Columbia were not changed and remain to be (as of January 1, 2024):

Corporate Income B.C. Rate Combined Provincial + Corporate Rate
General 12% 27%
M&P 12% 27%
Small Business* 2% 11%

*tax rate on the first $500,000 of active business income, shared amongst an associated group.

Employer Health Tax

The following are proposed changes to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) effective January 1, 2024:

  • Employers with B.C. remuneration below $1,000,000 are exempt from paying the employer health tax (an increase from the previous $500,000 exemption threshold.)
    • Associatedemployers must share the $1,000,000 exemption
  • The tax rate for employers with remuneration between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000 will increase to 5.85% (from 2.925%)
  • The tax rate for employers with remuneration above $1,500,000 remains unchanged at 1.95%
  • Employers can use the Employer Health Tax Calculator to estimate their EHT amount. Note the calculator will not be updated to include budget proposed changes until they pass.

Extension of Existing Credits

The Training Tax Credit is for employers and apprentices who take part in eligible apprenticeship programs administered through Skilled Trades B.C.

The Shipbuilding And Ship Repair Industry Tax Credit is a tax credit for eligible employers that employ apprentices in the B.C. shipbuilding and ship repair industry.  The tax credit is proposed to be extended to December 31, 2026.

Exclusions from Existing Credits

Mining Exploration Tax Credit (METC) – Budget 2024 proposes that as of February 23, 2024, oil and gas exploration expenditures will no longer qualify for the METC (similar to federal changes).

Film and Television Tax Credits – for animation productions that start principal photography on or after June 1, 2024, Budget 2024 proposes to exclude their eligibility for regional and distant location tax credits.

Personal Tax Measures

There are no changes to personal tax rates, however the brackets and credits have been indexed to inflation.

Taxable Income Tax Rate
$0 to $47,937 5.06%
$47,937.01 to $95,875 7.70%
$95,875.01 to $110,076 10.50%
$110,076.01 to $133,664 12.29%
$133,644.01 to $181,232 14.70%
$181,232.01 to $252,752 16.80%
Over $252,752 20.50%

Affordability Measures

B.C. Family Benefit Bonus

In July 2024, eligible families will receive a B.C. family benefit bonus along with their monthly B.C. family benefit payment. B.C. family benefit bonus continues through June 2025.

  • The annual benefit amount and income threshold used to determine eligibility will be increased by 25% and will return to the usual levels for July 2025.
  • For an adjusted 2023 net family income of less than $35,902, the maximum annual benefit, including the proposed B.C. family benefit bonus payment is:
    • $2,188 for the first child
    • $1,375 for the second child
    • $1,125 for each additional child

Climate Action Tax Credit

Effective July 1, 2024, the maximum annual payments for the B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit increased for adults to $504 (from $447) and $252 (up from $223.50) for a spouse or common-law partner, and to $126.00 per child (up from $111.50).

The income thresholds where the credit begins to be phased out will also be increased to $41,0711 (up from $39,115) for individuals, and to $57,288 (up from $50,170) for families.

B.C. Electricity Affordability Credit (for residents and businesses)

Eligible BC Hydro customers will receive an electricity affordability credit to help reduce their electricity costs.

The credit amount will be automatically calculated based on the user’s electricity consumption over the past year and will be applied to bill over the 12 months starting on the first bill after April 1, 2024. The average total savings for residents is estimated to be $100 over the year.

The average business and industrial customer will receive savings of up to 4.6% of their electricity consumption to help reduce your operating costs. The average total savings is estimated to be $400 over the year.

Housing Tax Measures

B.C. Home Flipping Tax

Budget 2024 proposes a legislation, “B.C. Home Flipping Tax”, that will impose a new tax on income earned from home sales in B.C. which are owned for less than two years.

  • The tax rate on income from the sale of a residential property within 365 days of purchase is 20%, decreasing to 0% between 366 and 730 days.
  • The tax will apply to all property owners regardless of their location (including B.C. residents).
  • The tax will be effective starting after January 1, 2025, and will apply to property sales occurring on or after that date.
  • A maximum of $20,000 can be excluded from any BC taxable income when a primary residence is sold within two years of the purchase date.
  • Income from property purchased before the tax’s effective date may be subject to the new tax if sold on or after January 1, 2025, if the property is sold within 2 years, unless an exemption applies.
    • Exemptions which a generally similar to the exemptions available for the federal residential flipping rules will apply (i.e. changes in family dynamics due to divorce, death, etc.).
  • This tax will be applied to all residential properties, including properties zoned for residential use, but will not apply to land or land used for non-residential purposes.

Property Transfer Tax Exemptions

The Budget proposes some updates to exemptions on the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) that applies when interest in a property is purchased or gained in B.C.:

  • Eligible First-Time Homebuyers: Effective April 1, 2024, will be increased from the $500,000 fair market threshold to $835,000 fair market value for first-time homebuyers who use their home as a principal residence.
    • The exemption is gradually reduced to nil at the fair market value of $860,000.
  • Qualifying Newly Built Homes: The exemption would be increased from the current threshold of $750,000 to $1.1 million, effective April 1, 2024. The exemption is gradually reduced to nil at the fair market value of $1.15 million.
  • Purpose-Built Rental Buildings: For transactions that occur between January 1, 2025, and December 31, 2030, new qualifying purpose-built rental buildings will be exempted from the general property transfer tax.
    • Qualifying properties must meet certain requirements, including the residential portion of the building being exclusively used for rental purposes.

Speculation and Vacancy Tax

The speculation and vacancy tax is an annual tax based on how owners use residential properties in areas in B.C. affected most by the current housing shortage crisis.

This tax aims to discourage speculation and stabilize housing prices by encouraging property owners to occupy their homes.

Effective January 1, 2024, the definition of “registered occupier” was clarified to mean the person who leases residential property (registered in the Land Title and Survey Authority of B.C.). This leaseholder, if not already required to declare in 2024, will need to declare for the first time in 2025 (for the 2024 year).

Other Tax Measures

Insurance Premium Tax on Agricultural Insurance Programs

Effective on royal assent, farmers will be exempted from insurance premium tax when paying premiums relating to Ministry of Agriculture and Food programs (i.e. provincial agricultural insurance programs such as AgriStability and Product Insurance).

Provincial Sales Tax (PST) Updates

  • PST refund on goods purchased for resale: Effective July 1, 2024, the Provincial Sales Tax Act is amended to reduce the availability of PST refunds if a person acts as though they are the end purchaser of goods, but they are in reality, acquiring the goods for resale outside B.C.
    • This is retroactively effective, starting April 1, 2013.
  • Production Machinery and Equipment (PME) Exemption: Clarification for projects that make use of certain natural occurrences (such as sunlight, wind, tides, air or water) to manufacture clean energy will qualify for the production machinery and equipment exemption. This is effective February 23, 2024.
  • Expanded definitions: BC Budget 2024 expands the definition of “software” for the purposes of PST, effective July 1, 2024.

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