On Tuesday, October 16, 2018 the British Columbia government introduced legislation – Bill 44, Budget Measures Implementation (Employer Health Tax) Act, 2018 – with respect to the anticipated Employer Health Tax (“EHT”) announced in the British Columbia Budget 2018.

The EHT is an annual tax on remuneration paid to British Columbia employees and former employees in a calendar year. The EHT will eventually replace Medical Services Plan premiums in British Columbia, which have traditionally been borne by individual British Columbians, although such payments are often covered by employer benefit plans.

Subject to exemptions targeted largely to small businesses, employers will be required to register for the EHT in January 2019 and begin remitting that year. The legislation will apply differently to employers with smaller British Columbia remuneration above $500,000, employers who establish or cease having a permanent establishment in British Columbia, and to charitable and non-profit employers.