Vancouver realtors coach foreign buyers to avoid new transfer tax

Jul 28 2016, 2:14 am

Some Vancouver area realtors are getting creative in an attempt to help foreign buyers avoid the new 15% additional property transfer tax that takes effect next week.

Real Estate Specialist Mike Stewart sent an email, as seen below, to his clients letting them know they could assign the pre-sale purchase contract to a Canadian citizen or resident.

“So we are saying transfer the ownership or assign the ownership rights to a family member or trust your friend. Or in the case where that is not an option to potentially sell the contract to a Canadian resident or a Canadian citizen, so effectively increasing supply in the market.”

Perfectly legal

Stewart says he wants to make it clear it’s not illegal because the client bought pre-construction, meaning they haven’t actually registered yet at the Land Titles office.

The province say tax avoidance could net up to a $200,00 fine, a penalty and jail time.

Investigation opened

In a statement, the Real Estate Council of B.C. says it has asked the licensee and brokerage to stop circulating the advertisement.

The Council says it has opened an investigation into the ad, and “will be looking into the matter very closely.”

It’s also reminding people to get legal or accounting advice before entering into any transaction promoted as a “solution” or measure to avoid payment of taxes, like the property transfer tax.

Image: CKNW

Image: CKNW

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