HST credit cheques are in the mail

Over one million British Columbians will now be receiving their April quarterly payment of the B.C. HST.

The B.C. HST Credit helps reduce the impact of the HST for lower- income individuals and families. Eligible lower-income British  Columbians receive up to $230 annually for each family member through  the B.C. HST Credit. For example, the credit provides a family of  four with up to $920 a year and up to $1,380 for a family of six.

The full B.C. HST Credit is available for individuals with incomes up  to $20,000 and families with incomes up to $25,000.

Individuals and  families with incomes above the thresholds may be eligible for a  partial benefit.

The credit is paid four times a year, along with the B.C. Low Income  Climate Action Tax Credit and the federal GST credit.

B.C. has the lowest HST rate in the country at 12 per cent. While the  HST does increase some consumer costs, the tax on many household  basic needs remains the same.

There is no HST on basic groceries,  residential rent, prescription drugs, and most health and dental  services.

There is also no change in tax on vehicle fuel, public  transportation and home energy costs.

“One of the major information gaps we’ve identified is that most  families receiving the B.C. HST Credit have no idea it’s there to  offset the impact of the HST,” said Minister of Finance Kevin Falcon.

About 1.1 million low- and modest-income British Columbians receive the B.C. HST Credit, including about 220,000 seniors.

The B.C. HST Credit is issued four times a year: January, April, July and October.

Under the previous PST system, only very low-income British  Columbians received an annual credit of $75.

For more information about the B.C. HST Credit and to see the insert in circulation with the cheques, visit: http://www.hstinbc.ca/bc_hst_credit/