Glossary

The information provided here is explanatory. Where there is a conflict between this information and the Act, the Act shall prevail.

Adjusted net income Your adjusted net income is your net income, plus the net income of your shared income partner (if you have one), less any allowable deductions.

Note: If your current shared income partner was not your partner during the relevant tax year, you should not include their net income.
Canadian citizen A person described as a citizen under the Citizenship Act. This means a person who was:
  • born in Canada
  • born outside of Canada to a Canadian citizen who was themselves either born in Canada or granted citizenship
  • granted Canadian citizenship (naturalization)
Caveat A warning that someone is claiming an interest in a parcel of land
Certificate of Pending Litigation A document filed at the Land Title Office, stating that a property is the subject of a court proceeding and that ownership of the property may change as a result.
Court-appointed Committee When the Court appoints a person to protect the interests of and make decisions on behalf of an adult who is deemed mentally incapable of managing his or her affairs, including decisions:
  • about the provision or withdrawal of healthcare
  • about the management of personal finances
Escheat When a property is transferred to the Crown because it was owned by:
  • a corporation that has been dissolved, or
  • a person that died without having made a will and doesn't have any known heirs to claim the estate
Fee simple The law recognizes this form of estate (ownership) in real estate as the highest form. The property owner is entitled to full enjoyment of the property, limited only by zoning laws, deed or subdivision restrictions or covenants. The duration of this ownership is not limited and can be passed along in a will to the owner's heirs.
Forfeiture When the ownership for a property is transferred to the Crown because rural property taxes haven't been paid.
Foreign corporation A corporation that is:
  • not incorporated in Canada, or
  • is incorporated in Canada but is controlled in whole or in part by a foreign national or other foreign corporation, unless the shares of the corporation are listed on a Canadian stock exchange.
Foreign national A person who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, including a stateless person.
Improvements Buildings or structures on a property, such as:
  • houses
  • manufactured homes
  • modular homes
  • garages
  • sheds or other outbuildings
  • paving, such as driveways
  • utilities, such as sewer
  • timber
Land co-operative A separate taxable parcel owned by a corporation exclusively for the benefit of its shareholders. Shareholders have a right to occupy a portion of the parcel and to own share(s) and other securities that have a value equivalent to the value of the portion in relation to the value of the parcel.
Laneway home A small, detached house built on a single family lot, usually in the backyard and opening onto the back lane.
Live in B.C. A homeowner is considered to live in B.C. if it's the province where they ordinarily reside. This doesn't include casual, intermittent or transitory visits to B.C. Living in B.C. usually means a homeowner will:
  • File their income taxes as a B.C. resident
  • Be enrolled in B.C.'s Medical Services Plan
  • Have a B.C. driver's licence
  • Have their vehicle registered in B.C.
Marriage separation You have a written separation agreement under which you have agreed to live apart or a court order recognizing your separation from your spouse.
Medical practitioner A person registered by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia and entitled under the Health Professions Act to practise medicine and use the title “medical practitioner.”
Net income Net income is the amount shown on line 236 on your income tax Notice of Assessment.
Non-member leaseholder A person who leases land on a First Nations' reserve but isn't a member of a First Nations.
Northern and Rural Area A property that isn't located in any of the following regional districts:
Nurse practitioner A person who is authorized by the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia to practise nursing as a nurse practitioner and use the title “nurse practitioner.”
Permanent resident Someone who has acquired permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada, but is not yet a Canadian citizen
Person with a disability Under the home owner grant, a person with a disability is someone who has a permanent disability for which no remedial therapy is available to lessen the disability and, in order to manage normal daily functioning in their principal residence, they require either physical assistance or structural modifications to their home.
Physical assistance Regular and extensive supervision or care necessary for the person with a permanent disability to manage normal daily functioning in the home. This only includes assistance with bathing, personal hygiene, meal preparation/feeding and mobility. It does not include housework, laundry, therapy, training, respite care or any assistance outside the home.
Principal Residence A principal residence is the usual place that a person makes their home.

If a person owns more than one home, they can't designate which one is their principal residence. Their principal residence is where they live and conduct their daily affairs, like paying bills and receiving mail, and it's generally the residence used in government records for things like income tax, Medical Services Plan, driver's licence and vehicle registration.
Property Land and improvements such as buildings or structures.
Property classifications A classification system used by BC Assessment to define the type and use of each property. There are nine property classifications:
  1. Residential
  2. Utilities
  3. Supportive housing
  4. Major industry
  5. Light industry
  6. Business
  7. Managed forest land
  8. Recreational property, non-profit organization
  9. Farm land
Quit claim When a person terminates his or her right and claim to a property and transfers their interest to a recipient.
Registered owner / Owner Under Home Owner Grant, an owner of real property is:
Under Property Tax Deferment, an owner of real property is:
  • the owner registered at the Land Title Office, the Manufactured Home Registry or the Integrated Land Management Bureau
  • a tenant for life under a Registered Life Estate
  • a registered holder of the last registered Agreement for Sale or Right to Purchase
Related individual Under Home Owner Grant, a related individual or relative includes:
  • your child or grandchild
  • your brother, sister, parent or grandparent
  • a step-parent, or the person standing in the place of a parent, of the person with disabilities

Under Property Transfer Tax, a related individual or relative includes:
  • your child, grandchild, great-grandchild and their spouse
  • your parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent
  • your spouse and their child, parent, grandparent or great-grandparent  

Note: Child includes a step-child. 

Reserve land Crown land specifically set aside for occupation by First Nations.
Residential care facility A facility, such as an assisted-living, intermediate-care or long-term-care facility, or a group, retirement or nursing home, that meets the following criteria:
  • It is a house or building occupied by a business, or part of a house or building occupied by a business
  • Housing and daily meals are provided to residents of the facility by, or through, the operator (the individual or corporation that runs the business)
  • At least one resident of the facility is a person who is not the spouse of the operator, or related by blood or marriage to the operator
Residents reside there primarily due to family circumstances, age, disability, illness, or frailty.
Residential unit A self-contained unit that has cooking, sleeping, bathroom and living room facilities.
Revest When the previous owner(s) of a property are restored on a property title.
Shared income partner A person that is/was your spouse during a specific tax year.
Simple interest An interest charge that is always based on the amount loaned and does not compound.
Spouse Under Property Tax Deferment and Property Transfer Tax, a spouse is a person you are married to or living in a marriage-like relationship with for at least two years.
Under Home Owner Grant, a spouse is a person you are married to or living in a marriage-like relationship with for at least two years. If you’re married but separated and living apart and you each want to claim the home owner grant for your principal residences, you’ll need a written agreement signed by both of you stating you have agreed to live apart or a court order recognizing your separation.
Surviving spouse A woman or man who lost their spouse by death and who is not currently the spouse of another person.
Tax authorities The province, municipalities, improvement districts and agencies that are legally authorized to levy property taxes. Taxing authorities include:
  • The Province of British Columbia
  • Regional Districts
  • Improvement Districts
  • Regional Hospital Districts
  • BC Assessment
  • Municipal Finance Authority
  • Islands Trust
  • British Columbia Transit Authority
Tenure assignment When an individual or business takes over an existing Crown land tenure from the current occupier before their tenure ends.
Utility user fee Utility user fees are charges for the use of utilities such as:
  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Recycling
Utility user fees are usually billed separately from your annual property taxes. However, unpaid utility user fees may appear on your property tax notice as a separate charge.
Waiver / Filing a waiver Filing a waiver allows you to extend the assessment period of an audit to allow additional time for discussion and collection of information.

A waiver stays in effect for six months after it has been revoked.
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