Below are the breakdowns of both the B.C. Speculation and Vacancy Tax and the City of Vancouver Empty Homes Tax. The key is to be aware of the timelines for declaration. Both require every property owner to make a declaration and the B.C. Speculation and Vacancy Tax requires all owners of the property to make a separate declaration. If they don’t, the tax will be applied to their share of title.
- The tax applies to residential properties in Capital Regional District (Victoria), Metro Vancouver Regional District excluding Bowen Island, Village of Lions Bay but including the University Endowment Lands and UBC, City of Abbotsford, District of Mission, City of Chilliwack, City of Kelowna and West Kelowna, City of Nanaimo and District of Lantzville
- The tax will 0.5% for 2018 and 0.5 for Residents of British Columbia and Canadian Citizens and 2% for Foreign Nationals in 2019 and going forward from there.
- All residential property owners on title in designated taxable regions of B.C will have to complete an annual declaration for the Speculation and Vacancy Tax to claim any relevant exemptions. Where there are multiple owners of a home, a declaration must be completed by each owner.
- Declaration will be sent in mid-February and will be due by March 31st each year and any tax owing will be due July 2 of each year
- Anyone who uses their home as their principal residence is exempt. For this exemption, an owner must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada who’s a B.C. resident for income tax purposes and isn’t part of a satellite family
- Long-term rentals are exempt from the tax.
- 2018 – Homes must be rented out for at least 3 months.
- 2019 - Homes must be rented out for at least 6 months, in increments of 30 days or more.
- Strata buildings with rental restrictions are exempt for 2018 and 2019 only as long as the rental bylaw was in place as of October 2018.
- Special Case Exemptions:
- Owner/tenant undergoing medical care, in hospital, long-term care facility
- Owner/tenant – temporarily absent for work purposes
- Registered owner is deceased, estate is being processed
- Exemptions are listed here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/speculation-and-vacancy-tax/exemptions-speculation-and-vacancy-tax/individuals
Empty Home Tax (City of Vancouver Only) - https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/empty-homes-tax.aspx
- The City of Vancouver Empty Home Tax “EHT” became effective January 1, 2017. The Empty Home Tax is applied annually with the first taxation year beginning January 1, 2017. The tax for 2017 was payable by April 2018. The tax rate is 1% of the assessed value based on the assessment in the year the tax is paid. For 2019 the tax if applicable will be due by April 12, 2019.
- The EHT does not apply to a home used as a principal residence or is subject to a long term tenancy agreement of at least 180 days accrued in a calendar year with a minimum of 30 day terms for the tenancies.
- There are various exemptions for the EHT for situations such as major renovations, major illness, death of the owner, ownership of the property changed curing the previous year, strata rental restrictions that were in place prior to November 16, 2016, homes used for work orders, homes subject to a court order. Explanations for these can be found on the City of Vancouver website https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/will-your-home-be-taxed.aspx
Every residential home owner in the City of Vancouver must submit an Empty Home Declaration by February 4th each year, whether the property is deemed vacant or not. Failure to do so will result in the City declaring the property vacant.