February 7, 2019 3:59 am Published by

You’ve likely heard about the Speculation and Vacancy Tax introduced by B.C. government in late autumn of last year. While there is much discussion and controversy over the tax, it has become law and will apply in 2019.  Here’s how this tax will apply to you.

All homeowners in the designated taxable regions, listed below, will be subject to the Speculation and Vacancy Tax.  If you own a home in a taxable region, you will receive a Speculation and Vacancy Tax letter from the B.C. government by mid-February.  As a homeowner, you must complete a declaration regarding the status of your property as of December 31, 2018, and, if eligible, claim an exemption. If you do not, the tax will apply to your home.

A declaration must be made for each property you own in the designated taxable region. For example, if you own a home in Burnaby and have recreational property in Kelowna, you must complete a declaration for both properties. Furthermore, everyone on the title of the property must complete the declaration. So, for example, if a husband and a wife, or two partners, are on the title, each person must complete the declaration and apply for the exemption to the tax. There are several available exemptions to the tax, which are listed on the B.C. government website noted below.

You must complete the declaration applying for the exemption by March 31, 2019, to avoid receiving a tax notice. You can make the declaration online or by phone. The letter from the B.C. government will give you instructions on making your declaration.

Please note that the Provincial Speculation and Vacancy Tax is NOT the same as the Vancouver Empty Homes Tax declaration, which you may have completed recently.  These are distinct taxes, and each one requires its own declaration.

Here is a list of the taxable regions: Metro Vancouver Regional District: Anmore, Belcarra, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley City and Township, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver City and District, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, District of West Vancouver, UBC and University Endowment Lands, and White Rock.

Capital Regional District – please refer to the website below for a list of included communities: City of Abbotsford, District of Mission, City of Chilliwack, City of Kelowna, West Kelowna, City of Nanaimo and District of Lantzville.

Visit gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/speculation-and-vacancy-tax for further information on individual exemptions, districts included in the tax, and more.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding your home or the market, or if you have a friend or family member who is thinking of buying or selling property.  I look forward to being of assistance to you.

Warmest regards,

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