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Everything You Need To Know About The New BC Speculation Tax

by Kirat Chung on January 31, 2019
Everything You Need To Know About The New BC Speculation Tax
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What Is It?
It is a tax designed by the B.C government to make housing more affordable and more available by charging a tax to property owners of vacant homes and owners not contributing to property tax because they work and live outside of BC.

What do I need to know 

  • Make sure you get a declaration form in the mail.¬†
  • If you DO NOT receive a declaration form in the mail by February 15th, 2019 contact the government of Canada
  • You will have to pay a Speculation Tax on your home, unless you use the declaration form that you will receive in the mail to claim yourself as exempt¬†
  • You need to declare your exemption by March 31, 2019

What do I need to do
Each owner of the home will need to fill out a property declaration to exempt themselves from the Speculation Tax to avoid paying it. 

You will need to declare your exemption by:
Filling out a form online

Or calling and speaking to an agent Agents are available to take your call from 8:00am to 8:00pm, 7 days a week. Toll Free: 1 (833) 554-2323 (Outside North America) Office: 1 (604) 660-2421

To do so, you will need the pin on your declaration form and your social insurance number

If you are unable to do this, you can authorize another individual to declare the exemption on your behalf using this form

How do I know if I am exempt?
Over 99% of British Columbians will be exempt from the Speculation Tax. To be exempt, you must meet the following criteria: 

  • The property you own is your primary residence (you live in the home you own)
  • In 2018, You rented out the property/properties you own for a period greater than 3 months.
  • In 2019, these requirements will change and your property/ properties will need to be rented out for at least 6 months per year to ensure your exemption from the speculation tax. 

If you meet the criteria for exemption, you MUST DECLARE using the information in the declaration letter you receive via their online portal or by phone. If you are still unsure of your exemption status use the contact info below to get answers:

Toll Free: 1 (833) 554-2323
Email: spectaxinfo@gov.bc.ca

How much money will I owe if I am not exempt?

Each year the Speculation Tax will be based on the previous years property tax assessment 

For 2018, the Speculation tax rate is: 

0.5% of the assessed value of your residential property on July 1, 2018, as determined by BC Assessment

B.C. owners are eligible for a tax credit of up to $2,000 on secondary properties to offset their tax payable. 

The credit is limited to $2,000 per owner and $2,000 per property (in the case of multiple owners) per year.

For 2019 and subsequent years, the tax rate is:

2% for foreign owners and satellite families 0.5% for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada who are not members of a satellite family

A satellite family is: an individual or spousal unit where the majority of their total worldwide income for the year is not reported on a Canadian tax return.

The ownership of the home is based on the December 31st of the previous year. This owner is responsible for the Speculation Tax – if it is due.

The Speculation tax if payable will be due by July 2nd, 2019 

Questions? 
Please contact me if you’d like to discuss the Speculation Tax and any questions you may have. You can also visit the information site for more information.

Toll Free: 1 (833) 554-2323
Email: spectaxinfo@gov.bc.ca

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