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CRFA Fights HST In BC

On December 3, 2009, the Synergy Merchant Services Blog discussed the imminent arrival of HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The new tax, which combines the current GST (Goods and Services Tax) and PST (Provincial Sales Tax) is set to take effect in these two provinces on July 1, 2010.

Purported to make tax collection “less taxing” (pardon the pun) on merchants, this proposed new tax has drawn the ire of many Canadians. There is fear that they will begin to be charged taxes on products and services that did not previously incorporate one of the two taxes that HST will combine together.

One month ago today, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association posted an article on their website declaring a protest against HST on behalf of its members in the restaurant business in British Columbia. According to the CRFA, HST “will result in a new 7% tax on restaurant meals, which are currently exempt from provincial sales tax”.

The CRFA’s protest comes in the form of a new initiative known as “The No Meal Tax” campaign. The website detailing this cause – www.nomealtax.ca – offers up facts and figures that outline the impact that the additional 7% tax will have on dining prices and potential job losses. In addition, it connects to an online petition which is addressed directly to both the provincial and federal governments. In-restaurant campaigns are also planned to combat HST in BC restaurants.

Says CRFA’s Vice President Western Canada, Mark von Schellwitz: “A new 7 per cent meal tax will take a big bite out of customers’ wallets, employees’ wages and threatens our members’ livelihoods. We’re calling on consumers and industry staff to let their MPs and MLAs know they are against this unfair tax.”

To assist in the process of both raising awareness and helping to dispute the additional meal tax on BC residents, von Schellwitz offers up a No Meal Tax Kit which can be ordered by calling 604-685-9655 extension 1or e-mailing mark@crfa.ca.

There is no word yet as to whether or not a similar initiative will take place in Ontario. However, as a recommended member of the CRFA, Synergy Merchant Services remains very confident that the best interests of all CRFA’s members are always protected by this great organization.

As reported last week, this coming March, Synergy will once again take part in the annual CRFA Show at Toronto’s Direct Energy Centre to meet with other industry professionals who also share the benefits of being CRFA members. For more information on how you may attend this amazing event, visit www.crfa.ca.

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