Land Owner Transparency Act Consultation
As part of its 30-Point Plan for Housing Affordability (PDF), the B.C. government is taking steps to end the hidden ownership of real estate to make sure people are paying their fair share of taxes.
Currently in B.C., people can hide their ownership behind numbered companies, offshore and domestic trusts, and corporations. This makes enforcement difficult.
To improve tax agencies’ ability to enforce laws, the B.C. government is proposing to collect information about beneficial ownership of land in a public registry. The registry would help give tax authorities and law enforcement the information they need to crack down on tax evasion, and identify tax fraud and money laundering. The public registry would be administered by the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia.
Creating the registry requires a new Act. As a first step, the B.C. government released a White Paper (PDF) on the draft legislation, the Land Owner Transparency Act. Under this new law, corporations, trustees and partners (reporting bodies) will be required to report who the beneficial owners of properties are through disclosure reports.
By creating a public registry, the government’s goal is to help end hidden ownership and return a sense of fairness and transparency to the real estate market in British Columbia.
The consultation closed September 19, 2018. If you have questions about the proposed legislation email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Nature of Consultation Process
The Ministry of Finance will share comments it receives with other branches of government and the Land Title and Survey Authority, which will be responsible for the administration of the new Act.
Unless confidentiality is specifically requested, comments received electronically will be posted on the Ministry of Finance website to add to the transparency and interactivity of the process. Other written comments may be placed or referenced on the website. Although responses requesting confidentiality will not be placed on the website, freedom of information legislation may require that responses be made available to members of the public who request access.