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Provincial Sales Tax -> BC PST -> Verification of a PST Number

Verify a Purchaser's PST Number

PST was re-implemented in BC effective April 1, 2013.

A business must keep information in their records to show why a PST exemption was granted on a sale or lease.  If this is not done, the business can be assessed for the PST plus penalties and interest.  The required information to be retained includes:

    1.  the purchaser's PST number, or, if the purchaser doesn't have one,
    2.  a completed PST exemption certificate.

You can now verify a purchaser's PST number, to help ensure that their claims for certain PST exemptions are valid.  The verification service is free and optional.  There is a link to this on the BC Tax Exemptions page, which indicates that you are not required to verify the PST number of your customer in order to provide the exemption.  To use the PST verification service, you have to have the purchaser's PST number as well as their Business Number from CRA.  As a reader pointed out, the Business Number of a customer is not usually known to the supplier, so the verification service is not all that useful!

The purchaser is responsible to ensure that they qualify for the exemption being claimed.  If they complete an exemption certificate but don't qualify for the exemption, they are responsible for paying the PST, not the vendor.

Revised: October 26, 2023

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