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NEWS RELEASE · 5th April 2011
Ministry of Finance
HST credit cheques in the mail to support B.C. families

Over one million British Columbians will receive their April quarterly payment of the B.C. HST Credit beginning today.

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.

Minister of Finance Kevin Falcon is quoted as saying, "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."

Quick Facts:

* 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.