The cost of collecting Medical Services Premium (MSP) taxes in BC has jumped 30 per cent over the past year, according to a BC government document obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) through Freedom of Information (FOI). The document shows taxpayers spent $77 million to collect MSP taxes in 2015, up 30 per cent from 2014, and up 45.6 per cent over the past two years.

“No wonder government keeps hiking MSP taxes year after year after year – it’s getting more expensive to collect them in the first place,” said Jordan Bateman, CTF BC Director. “It’s mind boggling to see collection costs jump that much in a single year.” The documents show the government spent $189.1 million on MSP tax collection over the past three years:

• $77 million in 2015 (including 25 full time equivalent staff)

• $59.2 million in 2014 (including 24 full time equivalent staff)

• $52.9 million in 2013 (including 24 full time equivalent staff)

In its latest provincial budget, the BC government again hiked MSP taxes, which have gone up nearly 40 per cent over the past five years. Documents obtained by the CTF through previous FOI requests show more than 850,000 MSP tax payments were at least 31 days past due, and that more than $340 million in bad MSP debt has been written off over the past six years.

“The evidence continues to grow that MSP is an unfair, inefficient tax that especially hurts the middle class,” said Bateman. “It’s time for the BC government to take aggressive steps and pull the plug on this tax.”

Jordan Bateman

Canadian Taxpayers’ Association