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HST looming just around the corner

The harmonized sales tax about to take effect in British Columbia andOntario is proof of Benjamin Franklin’s assertion that “in this world,nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.”

The harmonized sales tax about to take effect in British Columbia and Ontario is proof of Benjamin Franklin’s assertion that “in this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.”

Funerals are just one of many services and goods previously exempted from provincial sales taxes that will be subjected to the HST starting Canada Day, as governments in both provinces switch the tax burden from corporations and on to consumers.

However, exactly what’s going up in price and what’s not depends entirely on which province you live in.

The single sales tax, which combines the five per cent goods and services tax with provincial retail sales taxes, will be 12 per cent in B.C. and 13 per cent in Ontario.

Energy costs will be the biggie for most Ontario consumers, with an immediate jump in the cost of electricity, natural gas and home heating oil because of the HST.

Ontario motorists will be among the first to feel the pinch when they fill up at the pumps.

Gasoline and diesel fuel, which had been exempt from the province’s eight per cent sales tax, will be subjected to the 13 per cent HST.

The tax on alcohol is actually decreasing, but the prices won’t. The provincial taxes of 10 to 12 per cent will be lowered under the HST, but other fees and taxes will rise because of what the provinces say is their social responsibility to maintain minimum prices for liquor.

 
 
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