On a macro-economic level, the Budget forecasts a surplus of $879 million for fiscal 2014/2105 and smaller surpluses, ranging from $284 million to $399 million, for the following 3 years. Revenue is expected to grow by 2.7 percent annually and expenses by 2.5 percent over that 4 year period. Provincial debt is scheduled to increase from $63 billion to $70.4 billion over the next three years, but debt as a percent of GDP to decrease from 26.7% to 26.1%.

There are no further details on the 0.5% increase to the provincial sales tax as the Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax (should it come to be), including whether it will apply to legal services.

As to tax measures:

  1. The expiry of the 2% surtax on income over $150,000 per year at the end of 2015 is confirmed.
  2. Existing tax credits have been extended or expanded – the training tax credits through 2017, the mining flow-through tax credit for another year, to the end of 2015 (as happens every year), the new mine allowance to 2019, and the interactive digital media tax credit through 2018. The digital animation or visual effects (or “DAVE”) tax credit now includes eligible post-production activities for productions where principal photography begins on or after March 15, 2015.
  3. The equity tax credit budget for the Small Business Venture Capital Act is increased for 2015 by $3million, thereby allowing for up to $10 million of additional equity financing this year for qualifying new businesses.
  4. Re provincial sales tax (“PST”):
    1. registration obligations have been expanded – effective September 1, 2015, persons outside BC who in the ordinary course of business accept orders for tangible personal property (“TPP”) from a location in BC, sell or provide TPP to a person in BC, or hold TPP in inventory in BC at the time of its sale must be registered for PST;
    2. the taxation of TPP used to make other TPP has been “clarified” – TPP used to make other TPP that in turn is used to fulfil contracts to improve real property is now subject to the same PST treatment regardless of whether the TPP is purchased in BC, or brought, sent or delivered into BC. Thus, a refund of PST is available if TPP is used in BC to make other TPP which is then sent outside of BC to fulfil a contract to improve real property located outside of BC and if unrecoverable sales tax is imposed by another jurisdiction.