Expert Panel on Business Taxation


The Expert Panel on Business Taxation was appointed by the Minister of Finance in January 2012 to provide analysis and recommendations to the Province on business tax competitiveness and administrative improvements to streamline the Provincial Sales Tax.

The panel’s final report was submitted to government on Aug. 31, 2012. Minister de Jong has asked the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services to include the report in the committee’s annual provincewide budget consultation process this fall.

The panel’s mandate included recommending administrative improvements to the Provincial Sales Tax, and an assessment of the competitiveness of British Columbia’s business taxes and tax expenditures. The Panel also examined municipal property taxation of business and its impact on business competitiveness and investment.

The panel members thank each of the many groups and individuals who took the time to prepare submissions and meet with the panel.

For more information about the panel and its report, please click on any of the following links:


Terms of reference

The task of the Expert Panel is to generate ideas and provide recommendations for a business taxation system for British Columbia that balances the principles of competitiveness, fairness and simplicity.

The panel will provide analysis and recommendations to government on the following issues:

Business tax competitiveness

  • Consider the competitiveness of British Columbiaís tax environment for business and develop recommendations concerning which taxes most influence competitiveness and economic growth. It will involve a broad review of all business taxes and provincial business tax credits or other provincial business tax expenditures.
  • Identify and develop recommendations for ways in which the Government of British Columbia may address tax avoidance within the business or personal taxation systems.

Administrative Improvements to Streamline the Provincial Sales Tax

  • Develop recommendations for administrative improvements to streamline the Provincial Sales Tax.

Guidelines

    • Acknowledging that the Harmonized Sales Tax was intended to improve the competitiveness of the B.C. economy, the review is intended to identify other ways to maintain and improve B.C.ís economic competitiveness, while respecting the referendum result to return to the Provincial Sales Tax.
    • The review will be restricted to provincial business taxes of general application, including tax expenditures and property taxation but excluding resource royalties and non-tax issues.
    • The review will include an examination of municipal property taxation of business and its impact on business competitiveness and investment. Recommendations must address issues of affordability and sustainability for local governments within the framework of the Community Charter.
    • Tax reforms or other recommendations must be fiscally neutral and sustainable for the Province within the Provinceís balanced budget framework.
    • The Expert Panel may commission independent research as necessary to conduct its review.
    • The Minister of Finance must receive the expert panelís final report no later than Aug. 31, 2012.