Speculation and Vacancy Tax

B.C. Government imposes the Speculation and Vacancy Tax as an annual tax on the owners of residential properties in designated taxable regions of B.C. Designed to increase the rental housing supply. As a result, this tax motivates owners of empty homes and under-used homes to rent out their property(ies).

Notifications are expected to be mailed by mid-February to all owners of property within the designated taxable regions. However, it is estimated that 99% British Columbians are expected to be exempted from the tax. And it is important to note that the speculation and vacancy tax is distinct from the empty homes tax in the City of Vancouver.

How it works:

  • All owners of property in certain designated taxable regions in B.C. must complete an annual declaration
  • And the declaration must be completed by March 31 of the following year
  • It can be done either by phone or online
  • A separate declaration must be made for each owner of the property
  • Applies based on the ownership as of December 31 each year
  • Claim any relevant exemptions
  • Owners who are individuals, corporations, trustees or partners may all qualify for an exemption
  • If you do not complete your declaration or are not exempt a tax notice will be sent

Exemptions include but not limited to:

  • Principle residence
  • Occupied by a tenant
  • Residence is uninhabitable
  • Secondary residence close to medical treatment facility
  • Just bought or inherited property
  • Separation or divorce
  • Bankruptcy
  • Recent death of owner
  • Rental restrictions
  • Strata hotel
  • Licensed daycare
  • Land under development

The tax rate:

  • For properties owned on December 31, 2018 the tax rate is 0.5% of the assessed value of your residential property on July 1, 2018, as determined by BC Assessment
  • BC owners are eligible for a tax credit of up to $2,000 per owner and $2,000 per property
  • For 2019 and on the rate varies depending on your residency and where you pay income tax:
    • 2% for foreign owners and satellite families
    • 0.5% for Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are not members of a satellite family
    • a person who’s majority of worldwide income for the year is not reported on a Canadian tax return is considered a satellite family member
  • Each individual’s percentage ownership in the property owes tax
  • If not exempt, a tax notice with the amount of tax you owe will be sent out
  • Payment is due by July 2, 2019
  • Failure to pay will result in penalties and interest charges

Contact  1-833-554-2323 or 1-604-660-2421 or spectaxinfo@gov.bc.ca. Declare at gov.bc.ca/spectax

Talk to us

If you have any questions with respect to the implementation of this new tax, applicability to your property, or if you need any further guidance on what to include or exclude while filing it make sure to contact Rise! Our team’s knowledge covers all bases you need covered.