T88: British Columbia Mining Exploration Tax Credit for Individuals

Important:  The British Columbia mining exploration tax credit (BC METC) is set to expire on December 31, 2019.

If you lived in British Columbia on December 31st and were involved in grassroots mineral exploration, you might qualify for the British Columbia Mining Exploration Tax Credit (BC METC).

To be eligible, you must have paid for qualified mining exploration expenses before January 1, 2020 to determine the existence, location, extent or quality of a mineral resource in B.C. This credit only applies to exploration for base and precious metals, coal, and some industrial minerals. Drilling expenses for oil and gas don’t qualify.

You could qualify for an amount equal to 20% of what you spent minus any reimbursements or assistance you received. For tax years ending on or before December 31, 2016, you can claim this credit 36 months after the end of the tax year. For tax years ending on or after January 1, 2017, you’ll need to claim this credit no later than 18 months after the end of the tax year. Keep in mind, you can’t carry forward or carry back the tax credit to any other year.

What are qualifying mining exploration expenses?

Exploration expenses include those that you paid for:

  • Prospecting
  • Carrying out geological, geophysical, or geochemicalsurveys
  • Trenching, digging test pits, or preliminary sampling
  • Drilling by rotary, diamond, percussion, or other methods
  • Environmental studies and community consultation paid (after February 28, 2015) to obtain a right, licence, or privilege

The expenses you paid must have been all or substantially all (90%) for goods and services provided in British Columbia. These expenses must also not have been claimed by anyone else for their BC METC.

Partnerships claiming the BC METC

If you’re a member of a partnership and you want to claim the British Columbia Mining Exploration tax credit, you’ll need to first complete form T1249: British Columbia mining exploration tax credit partnership schedule outside of H&R Block’s tax software. Once done, you’ll need to complete the T88 page in your return.

Mineral exploration in Mountain Pine Beetle affected areas

If you had mining exploration expenses in prescribed Mountain Pine Beetle affected areas, you might be eligible for a tax credit equal to 30% of what you spent less any reimbursements or assistance you received. Refer to the BC government’s website to see a map of the qualifying Mountain Pine Beetle areas.

Where do I claim this?

Follow these steps in H&R Block’s 2018 tax software:

Important: Before you begin, make sure you’ve told us that you lived in British Columbia on December 31, 2018.

  1. Under the PREPARE tab, click the IN THIS SECTION icon.

  2. In the Investments box, click the Add This Topic button.

  3. Click the PENSION PLANS AND INVESTMENTS icon. You'll find yourself here:


  4. Under the RESOURCE INCOME & CREDITS section, select the checkbox labelled British Columbia mining exploration tax credit (T88), then click Continue.

  5. When you arrive at the British Columbia mining exploration tax credit page , enter your information into the tax software.
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