Do you own a home in British Columbia? 🏡 And you don’t want to be taxed? 🚫
You must exempt yourself by registering your property before March 31st of 2019!
Chances are, you’re one of the 99% of residents who will need to register themselves to avoid being taxed.
Perhaps you’re wondering why this tax was put in place…?
The speculation and vacancy tax is an annual tax that will be paid by some residential homeowners in British Columbia in designated tax areas. This measure was designed as part of the government’s 30-Point Plan to improve housing affordability in our province and to discourage property owners from having vacant homes in our province.
The Government of British Columbia explains that the new annual tax is designed to:
- Target foreign and domestic speculators who own residences in B.C. but don’t pay taxes here
- Turn empty homes into good housing for people
- Raise revenue that will directly support affordable housing
- All owners of residential property in the designated taxable regions of B.C. must complete an annual declaration. Over 99% of British Columbians are estimated to be exempt from the tax.
Where Does the Speculation and Vacancy Tax Apply?
Your residential property might be taxable if it’s located in one of these geographic areas:
- Municipalities within the Capital Regional District. This excludes Salt Spring Island, Juan de Fuca Electoral Area and the Southern Gulf Islands
- Municipalities within the Metro Vancouver Regional District, excluding Bowen Island, the Village of Lions Bay and Electoral area A, but including UBC and the University Endowment Lands
- The City of Abbotsford
- The District of Mission
- The City of Chilliwack
- The City of Kelowna
- The City of West Kelowna
- The City of Nanaimo
- The District of Lantzville
- Reserve lands, treaty lands and lands of self-governing Indigenous Nations are not part of the taxable regions.
There are other inclusions and exclusions you’ll want to familiarize yourself with too; you can contact us for the full breakdown or visit their website to learn more.
Here’s What You Need to Do To Exempt Yourself
First of all.. check your snail mail! 📬
You should receive a letter in the mail with the information you’ll need to register your property declaration by mid-late February.
If you HAVEN’T received this by late February, you’ll want to reach out to the government of BC and ask them for the information you need.
Once you have the letter or the information you need, you must register your property before March 31st, 2019.
You can do this by phone or online, although it’s easier to do online.
And What if Your Property Has More Than One Owner?
Even if the other owner is your spouse or partner… a separate declaration must be made for each owner. For more information, be sure to check back to their website.
If You’re NOT Exempt…
The speculation and vacancy tax rate varies depends on many different factors, including the owner’s tax residency and whether the owner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, or a member of a satellite family.
As well, the speculation and vacancy tax applies based on ownership as of December 31 each year.
So if you’re NOT exempt, you’ll want to check out some of the FAQ’s on the government’s website here. There’s a ton of great resources, and we’re always here to help you, too.
Have Any Questions?
If you’re a homeowner in the Fraser Valley (and beyond) and want to learn more, we welcome you to get in touch anytime!
Thanks for reading,
The Pontaletta Group
Give us a call: 604 533 3491
Send us a line: [email protected]