Retail calls on BC government to restore sales tax exemption for adult diapers - Retail Council of Canada
British Columbia

Retail calls on BC government to restore sales tax exemption for adult diapers

Retail Council of Canada today called on the B.C. Government to restore an exemption from the B.C. Provincial Sales Tax for the “adult incontinence products.”

Although Government communications in 2013 clearly state that “adult incontinence products” are exempt from PST, the wording of the PST exemption regulation enacted in 2013 at the time B.C. transitioned back from the HST to the PST results in those items being taxable.

List of items from BC government showing Adult Incontinence products have No GST, No PST applicable
(View full document)

“The Consumer Taxation Branch has decided to enforce the regulation as it is worded rather than was clearly intended,” said Greg Wilson, Director of Government Relations for the Retail Council of Canada.  “Is British Columbia really going to be saying to men with enlarged prostates or Alzheimer or women who have had episiotomies or urinary tract infections that they don’t qualify on medical grounds?”

“Nobody but nobody wears an adult diaper as a fashion item.  In essentially every case, there is a medical reason behind that purchase, which is precisely the reason why no other province in Canada and B.C. until this week, have made such an odd decision.”

Unless Government acts to change the Regulation, British Columbians will pay PST on adult incontinence products.

About Retail Council of Canada

Retail is Canada’s largest employer with 2.1 million Canadians working in our industry. The sector annually generates over $76 billion in wages and employee benefits. Core retail sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline) were $375 billion in 2018. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two thirds of retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association that represents small, medium and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers and online merchants.

For more information or to schedule media interviews, contact:

Greg Wilson, Director of Government Relations (B.C.), Retail Council of Canada, Vancouver

(604) 736-0368 or