CFIB statement on partial provincial tax deferrals

Vancouver, September 3, 2020 - The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is mostly pleased by the announcement from the BC government to support small businesses by delaying several provincial tax increases and payments. The BC government’s announcement came shortly after CFIB issued a news release on Monday with new survey data showing small business owners believe it is important the province forgive provincial taxes (55 per cent), defer provincial taxes beyond September 30, 2020 (55 per cent), and delay the carbon tax increase (79 per cent). 

The BC government's decision to delay the carbon tax increase, employer health tax (EHT) payment installments, and inclusion of PST on carbonated beverages is a welcomed decision which will provide small businesses with financial flexibility. However, these measures alone will not be enough to stimulate small business recovery.

“Small businesses are the building blocks of BC’s recovery. Making it easier to do business in British Columbia is a must. This includes tax reform, better regulations, and targeted financial support and relief,” Muriel Protzer, Senior Policy Analyst, BC and the North. “Yesterday’s welcomed announcement from the BC government will give small businesses additional flexibility during difficult economic times,” adds Protzer.

Holding the carbon tax at its current level of $40 per tCO2e until April 2021 and delaying its subsequent increase until April 2022 will provide direct tax savings to small businesses. In a recent CFIB survey of small business owners. In addition, delaying the EHT 2020 quarterly installment dates will provide businesses with more time and flexibility to meet their payments. While this is a welcomed decision, it is important to note that the introduction of this tax in 2019 created a financial and administrative burden on small business. 

“As British Columbians eagerly wait for the government’s economic recovery plan, small business owners desperately need to see additional measures to help them. Business recovery has been slow, and as the hot summer days start to fade away businesses will face a whole new list of challenges,” adds Protzer. 

CFIB further recommends the following initiatives to support small business during economic recovery:

  • Raise the EHT exemption threshold from $500,000 to $1 million, tie payroll thresholds to inflation, and create a more even split between what business and residents pay for health care costs;
  • Remove PST on machinery and equipment;
  • Help SMEs adopt digital technologies through regulatory modernization and the creation of an online Information Technology Center that offers small business resources

For a full list of CFIB’s recommendations on economic recovery, see Small Business are the Building Blocks of BC’s Recovery.


For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Muriel Protzer, CFIB


About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at