The government is continuing its efforts to cut red tape, making Saskatchewan more attractive for small- and medium-sized businesses.
As one of the first red-tape reduction initiatives of the new year, Saskatchewan is raising threshold amounts for businesses that file returns for the Provincial Sales Tax (PST), Liquor Consumption Tax (LCT), and Beverage Container Program, noted a government release. In addition, due dates for electronic filers are being extended.
“These changes will make tax filings easier for Saskatchewan businesses and reduce their administrative costs,” Red Tape Reduction Committee Chair Gene Makowsky said on behalf of Finance Minister Donna Harpauer in the release. “The changes also provide more incentive for businesses to switch to electronic filing.”
Effective April 1, 2020:
• the threshold for annual filing of PST, LCT, and beverage container returns will increase to $4,800 (from $3,600);
• the threshold for quarterly filing will increase to a range of $4,800 to $12,000 (from $3,600 to $7,200); and
• the threshold for monthly filing will increase to $12,000 (from $7,200).
Once the changes take effect, more than 4,600 Saskatchewan businesses will be able to file their returns less frequently.
Locally, the changes are seen as positive by Yorkton Chamber of Commerce executive director Juanita Polegi.
“The Yorkton Chamber views these changes as a positive for small and medium businesses,: she told Yorkton This Week. “Reducing red tape is a real benefit to these businesses as it saves both time and money. The Yorkton Chamber supports the efforts of the Sask Chamber as it continues to point out to the provincial government where improvements may be made”.
In the release The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) was also in favour of the moves.
“Red tape at all levels of government continues to be a top concern of business owners in Saskatchewan and across Canada,” CFIB Vice-President (Western Canada and Agri-business) Marilyn Braun-Pollon said in the release. “The Saskatchewan Government has taken major strides to reduce red tape in recent years, and we applaud these latest measures to make things easier for business owners in the province.”
Beginning with the April 2020 tax return, due dates for PST, Liquor Tax and the beverage container program will be extended from the 20th to the last of the month for businesses that file and pay electronically. Businesses that file on paper will continue to have a due date of the 20th of the month following the end of the reporting period. Businesses are encouraged to sign up for Saskatchewan eTax Services (SETS) at www.sets.saskatchewan.ca.
“The due date extension gives businesses more time to collect and complete their returns, and aligns due dates with the federal GST,” Makowsky said. “For monthly filers, this allows businesses to complete their book work once at the end of the month, rather than twice a month.”
Based on calculations using the government’s Direct Cost Estimator, these changes will save Saskatchewan businesses more than 11 per cent of their administrative costs related to the filing of PST, LCT, and beverage container returns.