Tax expert says HST better option for Alberta than PST

by Audrey Whelan

The Conference Board of Canada believes Canada should introduce a provincial sales tax instead of a carbon levy, but a local tax expert thinks that would be bad for businesses.

Beverly Gilbert is with Borden Ladner Gervais in Calgary and thinks a harmonized sales tax or HST is a better option.

She says a PST would increase costs for businesses on two fronts.

“The first way is there’s an actual cost to a business when they purchase goods because a PST is a non-recoverable tax like the GST is and the second thing is there is large compliance burden to businesses to implement a broad-based tax like a PST,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert says while businesses would be able to claim the cost of implementing the PST on their income tax they would not be able to recover all the money spent.

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