Certified General Accountants Association spreads the love of the HST… but is this conflict for members who promote the HST to clients?

The Certified General Accountants Association is spreading the love with a Pro-HST message that was sent to all it’s members and students. In fact,many accountants are now sharing that message even further, with their clients, which makes me wonder if that might be a conflict, considering how even Kevin Falcon has admitted the HST is not good for everyone, even all businesses.

On the CGA-BC website, it states that the organization is responsible for protecting the publics interest when dealing with CGA’s, but is it in the publics interest for members to promote the HST to their clients? What do you think?

Here is a copy of the email sent to all CGA- BC members and students:

Sent: Friday, June 24, 2011 4:20 PM
Subject: The HST Referendum: A Message to CGA-BC Members and Students

The HST Referendum begins today. Once mail service starts sometime next week, you will receive a ballot and be asked to return it with your vote to Elections BC by July 22, 2011. Your Association asks that you review the facts and make an informed decision about which tax system is better for British Columbia.

Since 2005, CGA-BC has argued in favour of a more equitable and transparent value-added tax. Although no tax is perfect, the HST is the right tax system for our times. It is a key component in creating a competitive environment that will create jobs, reduce red tape, attract new business, and more efficiently and fairly generate the revenues necessary to pay for the things we care about.

The HST replaces an expensive, cumbersome tax system that was heavy on red tape and low on value. It replaces two taxes with one tax, and with government legislation now passed to reduce the HST from 12 per cent to 10 per cent over the next three years, the HST will undercut the combined PST/GST taxes by two full percentage points if accepted.

Read our cover feature on the HST in the summer issue of Outlook magazine. It includes a series of articles written by Michael Kane and Jack Mintz and features prominent CGAs such as Dave Fairhall, FCGA; CGA-BC Chair Bruce Hurst, FCGA; and Past-Chair John Pankratz, FCGA, and others who make the case for the harmonized sales tax.

The Positive Impact of the HST


§       At 10 per cent, the HST will be two points lower than the 12 per cent PST-GST

§       The average B.C. family will now pay $120 less per year than they did under the PST-GST

§       In addition to low-income families receiving up to $230 per person in HST credits, children and seniors will receive annual transition cheques of $175 until the 10 per cent HST rate takes effect

§       83 per cent of small businesses support a 10 per cent HST, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses

§       The HST is an efficient consumption tax with no loopholes, exemptions for special interest groups or deductions

§       The HST taxes the growing part of our economy services thereby providing $800m additional revenues British Columbia needs for health care and education by 2014

§       The HST removes tax duplication throughout the value chain eliminating the costly compounding effect of PST which was applied at every level from raw materials right through to the retail level.


Please note that to keep the HST you must vote No on the ballot. The Association encourages you to please vote in this important referendum.



Gordon  Ruth, FCGA

Chief Executive Officer


26 thoughts on “Certified General Accountants Association spreads the love of the HST… but is this conflict for members who promote the HST to clients?

  1. Christy and the BC Liberals, can make any deal they want to with big business. They can arrange some way to lessen their paper work for accounting. That’s all business was after, right? Just don’t force the BC citizens to pay for it. The HST has done more damage to this province and the people, than all the other taxes. Which reminds me, the carbon tax goes up AGAIN, July 1st. The BC people have had enough stolen from their province and themselves.

    The HST was a dirty tactic by, Campbell, Hansen and Harper the christian. Campbell and Hansen’s election lie, the HST wasn’t on their radar, and the small provincial deficit. Were out and out blatant lies. The BC people, are in no way at fault for the hole in the budget. Put the blame on the three, who FORCED the HST onto the people., after lying about it. I can’t find any explanation of, why the citizens are to blame, for the hole in the budget. Everything points to the BC Liberals and Harper.


  2. A friend who does bookkeeping for an organization says that HST is actually more time consuming to do than the dual PST & GST. She also says the HST office is often confused about what is going on issuing inconsistent directions.


  3. I noticed that the CGA’s “positive” points for HST are almost exactly the same as the Government’s propaganda on the subject.
    More to Bernadette’s friend’s observation about confusion at the HST office: advertisements and the like by the government and organizations such as the BC Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business claim that the PST was confusing to the businessman, and suggest that HST is a piece of cake.
    I won’t drink the water downstream from these herds of BS’ers. The cow dung is being flung.
    Most businesses hire accountants or bookkeepers to do their books which usually includes payables and invoicing where the taxes are accounted for. Most bean-counter types know their sales tax rules quite well, but if they have a doubt, they have resources. When we still had PST, the Taxation Branch in Victoria was amazing: they printed and posted on-line Interpretation Bulletins which set out in everyday English what items were taxable and what were exempt, circumstances for exemptions such as the case of companies in the natural resources sector such as mining and logging, where capital items were exempt from PST. If one could not find the info in the bulletins posted on the taxation Branch’s website, or could not be bothered to find it, all you had to do was hit “Contact us”, type out your question, and usually within 15 minutes you had your answer.


  4. I am not current on the Fed’ s practices for disseminating sales tax information, but I am confident they are nowhere near the level that the BC Taxation Branch was.


  5. If the CGA Association truly believes the statistics they quote in the above email, then their credentials are not worth the paper they are written on. The only factual statement they make is that !0% is lower than 12%. The rest just contradict each other or are statements that offer no factual basis for their assertions.

    If this group of glorified bookkeepers really wanted to be truthful to themselves and their clients, they would dole out the real truth. They should be warning their clients that the HST is removing somewhere from $1.3 to 2 billion per year of purchasing power from consumers pockets collectively.

    I think that what really pisses me off more than anything about the stance most of the pro-HST crowd have taken is that their arguments are based on theory rather than fact. As far as I’m concerned this leads me to believe that the factual information they have been able to collect does not support their theories and as such, have had to resort to the snake oil salesman’s pitch.


  6. Sure 10% is lower than 12% but that does not take the timing into account. Has anyone of those bean counters done the math to work out how long to make up the difference we lose paying 12% until 2013 or whenever the 10% is actually implemented. Bird in the hand… I always say…


    1. and again, Bernadette, all those extra items that were never taxed before will still be taxed at 10%, so we are still paying more than before, it if did drop. Either way, a crappy deal all around.


  7. “Your Association asks that you review the facts and make an informed decision about which tax system is better for British Columbia.” And then they only present one side of the “facts”. WTF? How do you make an informed decision that way? These people are unbelievable….


  8. I find Dennis F’s comments regarding the provincial taxation branch’s efforts to make things clear for business under the PST regime most insightful given the comments of Mr. Jagger on a previous thread.




  9. The average family will NOT now, OR LATER, pay $120 less per year than they did under the PST-GST because (Lie number 2) as Laila pointed out, all those items that were never taxed before will still be taxed at 10% (or 12%).

    So, a reduction from 12% to 10% (in three years!) on 120% of the items still is MORE than you were taxed under the old system. So vote YES to recind the HST.

    And vote Anybody But Clark (ABC) to get a BC Rail review!


  10. What Christy is saying is, heads I win, tails you lose. That is the true result of, Christy’s ridiculous HST deal for the people. She is playing the citizens for fools.

    I have had enough of, Christy’s moronic mantra of, family’s first. Just where is this family’s first, supposed to be? If she is so concerned for the people of this province, she would not be cramming the HST down our craws. The HST is not good for the citizens, what-so-ever. We can’t cope anymore, we have been living with this asinine tax, and our debt loads are getting worse and worse. People are now having to, put necessities on their credit cards. How is this good for the people Christy?

    The HST was a scam by Campbell, Hansen and Harper, to steal from the people, to give to big business. No-one is getting raises in pay, except, I guess the $60,000 per year raise Campbell gave himself, and now what Christy gets. And of course the 28% increase for the ministers. Seniors pensions don’t increase. BC’s minimum wage, is still the lowest in Canada. BC still has the highest poverty numbers in Canada. The carbon tax is going up. Hydro is going up 53%. Food costs are outrageous. Gasoline through the roof. BC gained no jobs, because of the HST, instead BC is still losing jobs. I don’t see one big chain or big businesses huge savings from the HST, trickling down to the consumer. Instead, they are jacking their prices up. Oh!! Prices had to be raised, because of the cost of gasoline, freight rates went up.

    Christy, and you moronic BC Liberals, just cut the crap. We are all sick of the whole scurvy lot of you, and your damned non stop lying.


    1. Loll a great rant Gloria!! What I would say Christy thinks is…” Heads, I win, Tails I win..: I think she hasnt really contemplated losing anything yet, the sign of a mind to watch out for!!


  11. John Pankaratz, FCGA Past-Chair says:The logistical problems of going back to the PST would be immense; it would be a nightmare. (whose? ours or theirs?)

    And to this: We really prefer the relative simplicity of the HST ( now what tax specialist WOULDN’T, especially with the citizens paying the tax and not the big business???

    The HST is an efficient consumption tax with no loopholes, exemptions for special interest groups or deductions
    Uhmm… are the “special interest groups” the CGA’s and politicians? And, as far as I’m concerned that statement is warning itself, there hasn’t been a law written that doesn’t have “loop-holes” it may just be that we’re not being told about them.


  12. How did they ever come up with the name “Harmonized Sales Tax” in the first place?
    I mean really, has anyone here had or heard of “harmony” since this tax was brought in?


  13. Not to long ago Gordon Ruth and his idol Johnny Carline, at Metro Vancouver, were advocates of a deal where Terasen Gas would install water meters for all homes in the Greater Vancouver area. The plan involved Terasen funding the meters and their installation, but the costs would be recovered with substantially increased water rates for residential consumers.

    To make this deal viable, the water rates would more than double, and a lucrative and captive revenue stream would be turned over in perpetuity to the private sector. Decision-making politicians realized their political careers would be very short if they supported this undertaking, so the deal did not fly.


  14. Bernadette, both Surrey and Richmond have programs to aid residential property owners to become metered water customers. To facilitate this transfer, both the installations and usage charges are subsidized. The revenue streams; however, remain funding sources for their respective communities. They are not yet transferred to a private organization, which is the modus operandi of the incumbent BC Liberals. Even with new technology, the capital costs to install water meters in all residential homes is huge.

    West Vancouver has the largest usage of water meters in Metro Vancouver for residential customers. Once they are at 100%, it will be interesting if they ever reconcile the volume of usage with the volume of their supply. It would not surprise me if they have at least 25% or more unaccounted usage.


  15. Pretty sure my water costs are less with the meter than it would be if I didn’t have it. I did check at one point and seems I was saving hundreds.
    Interesting article on the HST saying it will benefit low income families. That some families are receiving HST rebates of over $1000.00 / year. Know anyone like that?

    Fraser institute study.


  16. Yes Bernadette, your metered water should be less than you would have paid with a flat rate user fee……because metered customers are subsidized with lower usage rates. If and when all customers become metered, the subsidy will disappear. Also high volume commercial and industrial metered water customers are also subsidized. As their volumes of water usage increase, their water rates decline.

    As for the Tony Wilson HST article, it was intended to be biased in support of the HST. There is more value in the comments of the responders than in the G & M column.

    Proponents of the HST should be charged for false advertising.
    a) the HST is not at 10% as claimed…..it might never be.
    b) even if you use the suggested tax being an extra $350, when and if it is reduced to 10% you will have paid that extra amount each year before it might drop in 2014 .
    c) the bribe of $175 per senior and for certain children is a one time payment for those who qualify. They will pay in perpetuity for the added HST on goods that were previously exempt.


  17. Regarding the rebate, this is what it says on the province’s website:


    “……….The federal Order to decrease B.C.’s HST rate comes after a motion passed in the B.C. Legislature on May 31, 2011, committing the Province to reduce the B.C. portion of the HST rate from seven per cent to five per cent by July 1, 2014. Under the terms of the binding motion, the Province would also provide one-time transition payments of $175 per child for families with children under 18 years old. In addition, low- and modest-income seniors would receive a one-time transition payment of $175………”

    and this is the comment you will find, under the Top 7 HST myths, on http://www.fightHST.com

    “… 5. The HST benefits families – False
    Next to seniors, working families are hardest hit by the HST because they are among the largest consumers and have dependent children. Bribes of $175 per child when your cost is closer to $400 a year each makes you wonder if they think all of us failed math as badly as they did. And what about a single mom with two kids going to college? She gets nothing while the Premier and Finance Minister who earn big six figure salaries get the rebate. Nice…………”


  18. I think you will find that all of White Rock’s residences and commercial establishments are entirely metered (100%). The water distribution system is a private system now owned by an Albertan company, Epcor, which is really a subsiduary of the City of Edmonton, Alberta. It was announced by Epcor that White Rock has the lowest water rates in the region, however, the comparisons were difficult to verify. It should be noted that the distribution infrastructure is old and Epcor is planning a major overhaul, including the addition of chlorine, which will surely see the rates equal those of Metro Vancouver.

    On the subject of more cheerleaders for the government’s HST…

    Since when has legislation by BC Liberal-Socred’s ever been binding? Or for that matter, just when has any legislation been binding? All legislation is subject to amendments and can even be repealed. If the CGA is using this argument to convince its members that legislation is like cured cement then one should take any advice given by the CGA executive as unreliable.

    This is the organization that has given Campbell advice on how reducing taxes by percentages is highly advantageous for the top earners in the Province.

    Perhaps the CGA should have noted that in BC corporate taxes have been reduced by 42% under the Campbell regime and with the HST almost $2 billion in taxes will be further shifted from corporations to us peons. It didn’t mention how even our healthcare premiums will be increased when residents in several provinces in Canada pay no premiums for their healthcare services.

    There is little evidence that efficiency in tax collection will add more jobs. The mainstream media is trumpeting the news that Canada added 20,000 new jobs in June while failing to acknowledge that the feds have hired 37,000 part-timers to conduct its 2011 census (from mid May to mid August). From what I have noticed many retail doors have closed in smaller communities in the province since the HST was introduced. Is this due to the HST? I could say so as who is to counter my view, but really its a sign that despite Harper’s claims in 2008, the economy is not fundamentally strong. If it was then why have people pay more taxes.

    One of Campbell’s “accomplishments” during his reign was to decrease the provincial portion of personal income taxes by 25%, however, fees and levies have increased or added when none were in place before, and now with the HST consumption taxes have increased, which I guess could include the carbon tax. Has the average BC resident actually seen a decrease? Hmmm.

    It should also be noted that percentage decreases in income taxes always favour the higher income earners.


Comments are closed.