BC government reminds homeowners of speculation tax declaration deadline

Jan 18 2021, 7:12 pm

The provincial government is reminding homeowners in regions where the speculation and vacancy tax (SVT) applies that declarations for the 2020 year are due on March 31, 2021.

Homeowners will receive their declaration packages in the mail between January 19 and February 12.

The SVT declaration can be completed by using the mailed package or online.

Over 99.9% of British Columbians are exempt from paying the tax, but residential property owners in the taxable regions must declare. All owners on the title, including spouses and relatives, must file a declaration in order to claim an exemption or to determine the eligibility for a tax credit. Corporations must also complete a declaration for their residential properties.

If homeowners are not exempt, they are required to pay their assessed amount by July 2, 2021. This is a tax based on assessed property values, with 2% for foreign owners and satellite families, and 0.5% for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada who are not members of a satellite family.

Starting this year, a penalty will be applied on homeowners who do not pay tax amounts by the summer due date.

This is now the SVT’s third taxation year. Since the tax was introduced in 2018, the provincial government has raised $130 million in new tax revenue towards funding housing and shelter or rental initiatives within the five regional districts where the tax applies.

A Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) report late last year found that 11,000 condominiums were added to the rental housing supply in 2019 due to the various vacancy taxes.

Homeowners in the City of Vancouver are also required to file their separate Vancouver Empty Homes Tax (EHT) declarations for the 2020 tax year by February 2, 2021. The EHT will increase from 1% in 2020 to 3% in 2021.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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