BC prepares for speculation, vacancy tax declarations

by Steve Randall16 Jan 2019

Homeowners in the area subject to the British Columbia speculation and vacancy tax (SVT) will soon be receiving details on how to make their declaration.

The provincial government says that letters will be mailed between January 18th and February 28th with clear instructions of how to file a declaration and claim any exemption.

The tax is part of BC’s 30-point plan to restore housing affordability in the province and works to target foreign and domestic speculators who own homes in B.C. but do not pay tax in the province; turn empty homes into housing for people; and raise revenue that will go to supporting affordable housing.

The government says that those filing an exemption should only need around 10-20 minutes to complete the declaration, although where the home has multiple owners (even a spouse) each must complete the declaration.

The deadline to declare is March 31, 2019. Residential property owners who do not complete their declaration before April 1, 2019, will receive a tax notice of assessment. Owners whose property is not exempt from the tax have until July 2, 2019, to pay their assessed tax.

Areas subject to the SVT include:

  • 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 the University of British Columbia 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

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