LETTER: Businesses forced to file online

How comfortable do you feel with filing forms and making payments online?

How comfortable do you feel with filing forms and making payments online? We are constantly warned of the dangers lurking on the Internet and yet every day the Canadian population is being pushed further into this realm by various levels of government. At the moment BC’s provincial government is leader of the pack.

Many Canadians use third-party services like bookkeepers or accountants to guide them through tax issues and file their forms online. In recognition of the fact that much of the population is still leery of online banking, the Federal Government makes simple payment forms readily available to all individual taxpayers who submit their tax returns via E-file. Similarly, businesses who collect GST/HST can submit their returns online but take a simple form to a financial institution to pay. It’s a model that both works and respects the needs of Canadian individuals and firms.

So why is the BC Provincial Government currently bullying its business taxpayers into an all-or-nothing situation? Businesses who collect the PST must choose a fully-electronic path to file and pay or a fully-paper path. Where is the harm in allowing for a transitional period that includes a compromise option such as the one offered by the Feds?

Kris Witt