On February 19, 2019, the BC Ministry of Finance released the 2019 Provincial Budget. A summary of the provincial budget highlights is provided below.

Enhancements to the Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit Program

Changes introduced by the Budget to enhance the small business venture capital tax credit program include the following:

  • Effective for 2019 and subsequent tax years, for investments made after February 19, 2019, the maximum amount of annual tax credit that an individual can claim is increased to $120,000 from $60,000.
  • Effective February 20, 2019, the maximum equity capital that eligible business corporations can raise under the program is increased to $10 million from $5 million.
  • Effective February 20, 2019, share transfers to a Tax-Free Savings Account are permitted and equity purchases within a Tax-Free Savings Account may qualify for a tax credit.
  • Effective February 20, 2019, certain advanced commercialization and scaling up activities are eligible for the tax credit program.
  • Effective March 2, 2019, investments in convertible equity issued by an eligible business corporation may be eligible for tax credits.

BC Child Opportunity Benefit

Starting in October 2020, a new BC Child Opportunity Benefit will replace the early childhood tax benefit. BC families could receive annual benefits of up to $1,600 for the family’s first child, $1,000 for the second child, and $800 for each subsequent child under the age of 18. This new refundable tax credit will be reduced and phased out based on the income level and the number of children in a household. For example, a family with one child will have the benefit fully phased out at $97,500 of household income.

Other Tax Measures

Other tax measures announced in the Budget include the following:

  • Effective January 1, 2020, MSP premiums will be fully eliminated.
  • Effective January 1, 2019, the mining flow-through share tax credit is made permanent.
  • Effective on royal assent, the mining exploration tax credit is made permanent.
  • Effective on royal assent, PST collection, reporting and remittance responsibilities can be designated to a single party in an agency relationship.
  • Effective for 2018 and subsequent years, the disability tax credit can be applied against tax on split income, and split income is included in the income threshold for calculating the medical expense tax credit.
  • The training tax credits are extended for one year to the end of 2019.
  • The farmer’s food donation tax credit is being extended for one year to the end of 2020.
  • As of February 19, 2019, interest will no longer accrue on new and existing BC student loans.

If you have any questions or would like further information relating to the 2019 Provincial Budget and its impact on you, please contact us.

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