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Important Notice To All Short-Term Rental Accommodation Providers

Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and Municipal & Regional Tax Program (MRDT)

On October 1st, 2018, the BC Government changed the Municipal Regional District Tax (MRDT) rules so that short-term rental accommodations with one to three rooms are now required to register to collect and submit PST (8%) and MRDT (2% on the Sunshine Coast).

What is the Municipal & Regional Tax Program (MRDT):

The Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) is a tax of up to three percent on the purchase of accommodation imposed in specific geographic areas of the province (designated accommodation areas) on behalf of municipalities, regional districts or eligible entities. On the Sunshine Coast, these areas include:

The MRDT program was originally introduced in 1987 and raises revenue for local tourism marketing, programs and projects and is now collected in over 50 municipalities throughout the province. Affordable housing was added a permissible use of funds through Budget 2018.

This program is jointly administered by the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and Destination BC. To promote a coordinated and efficient use of funds, the following MRDT program principles have been adopted:

  • Effective tourism marketing, programs, and projects
  • Effective local-level stakeholder support and inter-community collaboration
  • Coordinated and complementary marketing efforts to broader provincial marketing strategies and tactics
  • Fiscal prudence and accountability.

What Does the MRDT Apply to:

The MRDT applies to the purchase of accommodation in designated accommodation areas. Taxable accommodations can include:

  • Short Term Vacation Rentals of any kind
  • Hotels, motels, resorts, boarding houses, rooming houses, bed and breakfasts
  • Lodging houses, bunkhouses, cabins, condominiums, dormitories, hostels, mobile homes, trailers and all short term vacation rentals
  • Dwellings operated by clubs or associations, whether a membership is required for the use of the dwelling
  • A residential dwelling, or any part of a residential dwelling, used as lodging if the dwelling is listed on an online accommodation platform
  • A stationary vehicle
  • A residential dwelling is:
    • A house, cottage or another detached dwelling
    • A duplex, apartment, condominium, townhouse
    • A multi-use building that is used for residential use
    • Land that is attributable to one of the above buildings

Exemptions:

  • Your revenue is less than $2500 per year, or anticipated revenue for the coming year is less than $2500.
  • You are ONLY listed on an accommodation platform, such as Airbnb, that already collects these taxes

NOTE: An online accommodation platform (OAP)  is an online marketplace that enables or facilitates transactions for accommodation located in BC. Online classified advertising or listing services that do not collect payment on behalf of the person offering the accommodation are not online accommodation platforms for the purposes of PST and MRDT.

Who is Eligible to be a Designated Recipient Under the MRDT Program?

A designated recipient is the organization that applies and is responsible to the Province for MRDT within a designated accommodation area. A designated recipient can be a municipality, a regional district, or an eligible entity. An eligible entity is typically a not-for-profit society such as a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO).

As the ‘designated recipient’ of the MRDT funds, Sunshine Coast Tourism will assist in guiding its stakeholders through the process to ensure everyone has accurate information around this funding program. Strategic planning and a coordinated effort will help determine efficient use of the funds for the benefit of the entire region.

How to Register For PST and MRDT:

You can register to collect MRDT at the same time you register for PST. You must register to collect PST if you sell or lease taxable goods, or provide software or taxable services in the ordinary course of business in B.C. If you indicate on your registration that you sell accommodation in a B.C. jurisdiction that collects the municipal and regional district tax (MRDT), you’ll automatically be set up to collect MRDT. Your PST number also applies to your MRDT return.

For more information about the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) Program, please visit:

Government of British Columbia:

Destination BC:

Airbnb:

10 Things You Should Know About Short-Term Rental Accommodations And The MRDT

  1. The Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) program was originally introduced in 1987 to generate marketing funds for a destination or region. Municipalities, regional districts or eligible entities can impose a tax of up to three percent (2% on the Coast) on the purchase of accommodation in specific geographic areas of the province (designated accommodation areas)
  2. The provincial government’s 2018 Budget changed the rules so all accommodations operating within the tax jurisdictions of the Powell River Regional District or the Sunshine Coast Regional District (and the municipalities within) are required to collect and remit the MRDT (2%) and PST (8%)
  3. As a result of the new rules, affordable housing was added as a permissible use of the additional funds collected by Online Accommodation Platforms (OAP) such as Airbnb. The collected funds are subject to reporting requirements by Sunshine Coast Tourism (SCT) which is the ‘designated recipient” for the Sunshine Coast region.
  4. In order for the funds to be considered for affordable housing, all local Sunshine Coast government bodies are required to discuss, prepare and present a regional plan to SCT.
  5. Once a regional plan is agreed upon, SCT will submit an Affordable Housing MRDT Plan which will be reviewed by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing prior to implementation of affordable housing initiatives. Communities will also be required to report out annually.
  6. General MRDT revenues (revenues from traditional accommodation providers, such as hotels, motels, etc.) cannot be used for affordable housing initiatives, unless Sunshine Coast Tourism submits a complete application demonstrating the support of tourism stakeholders and accommodation providers.
  7. The change in rules was effective last October 1, 2018. The first quarterly instalment of short-term rental or Online Accommodation Platform (OAP) funds are expected in Spring 2019, therefore the amount collected for one year is yet to be determined.
  8. As the funds are received, they will be placed in a special account to accumulate until a plan has been presented and approved by Sunshine Coast Tourism.
  9. The next opportunity for Sunshine Coast Tourism to include proposals for the use of the additional funds is in the 2020 MRDT One Year Tactical Plan.
  10. The Sunshine Coast Tourism membership fee is waived for all businesses that collect the MRDT, but you must sign up and opt in to receive news and to take advantage of several membership benefits. Membership provides people with an opportunity to participate, collaborate and unify all efforts to create a sustainable tourism economy on the Sunshine Coast. To sign up for membership visit: https://sunshinecoastcanada.com/corporate/membership/