What you need to know about the Speculation and Vacancy Tax
To reduce housing costs and encourage owners to rent or sell investment properties, the government of British Columbia has created the new Speculation and Vacancy Tax as part of a 30 point plan. This yearly tax is targeted at individuals who earn the majority of their income outside of British Columbia. The government believes this will discourage foreign buyers from purchasing British Columbia homes as a way to turn a profit and avoid proper taxation – a reason that for the cost of housing has increased so dramatically.
You may not have to pay, but you do have to register
Residents who live in their principal homes, and owners of properties with tenants, are generally exempt from the Speculation and Vacancy Tax. However, you must register by March 31st, 2019 to claim your exemption.
What do I need to do ?
- Read the declaration letter.
- Keep your letter ID and declaration code from the letter handy – you’ll need them to complete your declaration.
- Have your social insurance number on hand – you’ll need this to verify your identity and complete your declaration.
- Register your declaration – the easiest way to do this is by visiting gov.bc.ca/spectax or by calling 1-833-554-2323
If declaring your exemption by phone, you can call between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm PST 7 days a week.
How will this tax help solve BC’s housing affordability crisis ?
The Speculation and Vacancy Tax will:
- Target foreign and domestic speculators who own homes in BC but don’t pay tax here.
- Empty homes may enter the market as a rentals or be sold to local citizens
- Raise revenue that will go to supporting affordable housing.
This tax is one part of the government’s 30-point housing plan to return housing affordability to our province.
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