B.C. Carbon Tax Increase Delayed Further Due to COVID-19

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLPOn September 2, 2020, the Government of British Columbia announced that it will further delay implementation dates for changes to the B.C. Carbon Tax and Provincial Sales Tax (PST) due to COVID-19.

In March 2020, the B.C. Government delayed a scheduled increase from $40 to $45 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) in April 2020 until September 30, 2020, as part of the province's COVID-19 Action Plan. With the further implementation delay, the B.C. Carbon Tax rate will remain at $40 per tCO2e until April 2021, when it will increase to $45 per tCO2e. In April 2022, there will be another scheduled increase to $50 per tCO2e. The current change is aimed at giving businesses and families more time to recover from COVID-19, while still meeting the federal carbon-pricing backstop rate of $50 per tCO2e by 2022. 

In addition, we note that:

  • The filing and payment deadlines for the Carbon Tax was extended to September 30, 2020, in March 2020 as part of the COVID-19 Action Plan. The B.C. Government has announced that these payment and filing deadlines will not be extended further.  
  • The Climate Change Accountability Act requires British Columbia to set sectoral targets by March 2021 and review targets before the end of 2025 and every 5 years thereafter, and set interim targets by December 2020 for a date prior to 2030. The B.C. Government has not yet announced the basis upon which the interim targets will be set.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the federal government and some provincial governments to extend regulatory compliance reporting. However, given the federal carbon-pricing targets in 2022, governments are unlikely to grant further delays.

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Bennett Jones LLP

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