Government of B.C.

Eligibility

If you’re unable to pay your property taxes this year, you may be able to defer your property taxes if you qualify for one of the following property tax deferment programs:

  • Regular Program
  • Families with Children Program

Regular Program

You may qualify for the Regular Program if you’re one of the of the following: 

  • 55 or older during the current year
  • A surviving spouse of any age
  • A person with disabilities

You must also meet applicant, property and equity qualifications to be eligible for the Regular Program:


To qualify for this program, you must:
 

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
  • Be a registered owner of the property
  • Have lived in B.C. for at least one year prior to applying
  • Pay property taxes for the residence to a municipality or the province
  • Have paid all previous years' property taxes, utility user fees, penalties and interest

You must also be either:
 

  • Aged 55 or older this year (only one owner must be 55 or older any time during the current calendar year)
  • A surviving spouse of any age who isn't currently the spouse of another person
  • Designated as a person with disabilities under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act
  • A person with disabilities and, in the opinion of a physician, your severe mental or physical impairment:
    • Is likely to continue for at least two years
    • Directly and significantly restricts your ability to perform daily living activities, either continuously or periodically for extended periods, and
    • As a result of those restrictions, requires you to have an assistive device, the significant help or supervision of another person, or the services of an assistance animal to perform those activities


​To qualify for this program, your eligible property must:

  • Be your principal residence (where you live and conduct your daily activities)
  • Be taxed as residential (class 1) or residential and farm (class 1 and 9)


You must have and maintain a minimum equity of 25% of the property's assessed value. This means that all charges registered against your property plus the amount of taxes you want to defer can’t be more than 75% of the BC Assessment value of your property in the year you apply.

If you have a secured debt on your property, such as a mortgage or a line of credit, contact your lender before you apply to ensure your approval into the tax deferment program doesn't conflict with the terms of your loan.

Find out how your equity is calculated.

 

If you meet all the above criteria, there are some instances where you may not be eligible for the program. See other eligibility criteria for more information.

Families with Children Program

You may qualify for the Families with Children Program if you're a parent, stepparent or financially supporting a child.

You must also meet applicant, property and equity qualifications to be eligible for the Families with Children Program:


To qualify for this program you must:
 

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
  • Be a registered owner of the property
  • Have lived in B.C. for at least one year prior to applying
  • Pay property taxes for the residence to a municipality or the province, and
  • Have paid all previous years' property taxes, utility user fees, penalties and interest

You must also be financially supporting either:
 

  • A child who is under the age of 18 and living with you full time or part time or who doesn't live with you but you pay support for the child
  • Your own child or stepchild of any age who is attending an educational institution (e.g. college or university)
  • Your own child or stepchild of any age who is designated as a person with disabilities under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act
  • Your own child or stepchild of any age who, in the opinion of a physician, has a severe mental or physical impairment that:
    • Is likely to continue for at least two years 
    • Directly and significantly restricts their ability to perform daily living activities, either continuously or periodically for extended periods, and
    • As a result of those restrictions, they require an assistive device, the significant help or supervision of another person, or the services of an assistance animal to help perform those activities

You may need to show proof that you're financially supporting a child under the age of 18 who doesn’t live with you.


To qualify for this program, your eligible property must:

  • Be your principal residence (where you live and conduct your daily activities)
  • Be taxed as residential (class 1) or residential and farm (class 1 and 9)


You must have and maintain a minimum equity of 15% of the property's assessed value. This means that all charges registered against your property plus the amount of taxes you want to defer can’t be more than 85% of the BC Assessment value of your property in the year you apply.

If you have a secured debt on your property, such as a mortgage or a line of credit, contact your lender before you apply to ensure your approval into the tax deferment program doesn't conflict with the terms of your loan.

Find out how your equity is calculated.

 

If you meet all the above criteria, there are some instances where you may not be eligible for the program. See other eligible criteria below for more information.

Other eligibility criteria


You or your property may not be eligible for the property tax deferment program if:
 

  • Your current year property taxes have already been paid in full
  • You have any debt owing from the previous taxation year, such as unpaid property taxes, penalties, utility fees, unclaimed home owner grant (if eligible) or interest
  • You have a Duplicate Indefeasible Title on your property title
  • It's a second residence like a cottage, summer home or rental home
  • Your residence isn't taxed as a residential (class 1) improvement. Property taxes for classes 2 - 8 must be paid directly to your municipality and cannot be deferred
  • You pay the property taxes for the residence to a First Nation or your property is leased from a First Nation. Properties must have a valid Parcel Identifier Number (PID) or a Manufactured Home Number (MHR) to secure our lien
  • The property title is entirely in the name of the executor/executrix, or an administrator of the deceased owner's estate
  • The property title is entirely in trust. If the property title is partially in trust, contact our office to confirm eligibility before applying
  • The property is leased from the Crown or Municipality
  • The property title is entirely in the name of a corporation
  • It's a float home or a home on stilts that doesn't have a property title registered with the Land Title Office
  • It has a Caveat other than Public Guardian and Trustee
  • It has a Certificate of Pending Litigation or an Injunction
  • It has a judgment registered on title (judgments expire two years after registration or renewal unless they are non-expiring)

Contact your lender prior to applying to ensure approval into the program does not conflict with the terms of your loan.

If there's an option to purchase on the property title, the property may not qualify for deferment. Contact us for more information before you apply.

If you're thinking of selling your home or your home is listed for sale, contact us to find out if you're eligible to defer your property taxes.


 

Overview

Tax deferment is a low interest loan program that helps qualified B.C. homeowners pay their annual property taxes on their principal residence. You must meet all eligibility qualifications above to apply.

Important: Applying for property tax deferment does not include the home owner grant. If eligible, don’t forget to also apply for the home owner grant when you receive your annual property tax notice.

When to apply

If you qualify for the program, you can submit an application to defer your unpaid property taxes between early May and December 31 of the current taxation year. However, we recommend applying after you receive your property tax notice and before your property taxes are due. If you didn't receive your tax notice by the end of June, contact your property tax office.

If you're a resident of the City of Vancouver, see below.

If you’re a City of Vancouver resident with two property tax billing periods, you can do one of the following:
 

  1. Pay your advance tax notice amount before the designated tax due date to avoid any penalties. Wait until you receive your main tax notice and apply to defer only that portion, or
     
  2. Pay the late filing penalty fee (5%) to the City of Vancouver for not paying the advance tax notice amount. Wait until you receive your main tax notice and apply to defer the advance and main tax notice amounts

In subsequent years, your November advance tax notice will indicate you have a zero balance and your June tax notice will include the advance and main tax notice amounts. You may defer both portions without being penalized as long as you continue to qualify for tax deferment and you renew your application on or before the July tax due date. 

 

If you chose to automatically renew your tax deferment application, your deferral will be processed automatically and you’ll receive a statement of account each year in May. Remember to apply for your home owner grant before the tax due date, if applicable.

 

Deferment applications for the current year are not accepted past December 31.

If you apply outside of the recommended application time

Here's what you can expect if you apply outside of the recommended application time:


If you applied before you received your property tax notice, your application will be held until the current year’s property tax information is available from your municipality.


If you applied after your property taxes are due, you must pay any late payment penalties to your municipality. Only your current year’s taxes classed as residential (class 1) and residential and farm (class 1 and 9) will be deferred. Property taxes for classes 2 to 8 must be paid directly to your municipality and cannot be deferred.

If you applied before property taxes are due but your application was approved after the due date, you won't be charged late payment penalties. However, if we find you aren’t eligible for deferment or authorization is not provided by all owners and it's past the property tax due date, then your property tax office may charge you late payment penalties on the unpaid taxes.

Late payment penalties

Your property tax office may charge you a late payment penalty if:

  • Your application isn't approved and it’s past the property tax due date
  • Your application is withdrawn or rejected for any reason by yourself or by the Tax Deferment Office after the tax due date

Late payment penalties are applied after the tax due date and are legislative and cannot be waived or removed.

Resources for more information

You can read the following resources for more details about the property tax deferment program:


 

Apply or renew

1

Before you apply or renew

Before you apply or renew your deferment application, check below to make sure you're ready.

 

  1. Make sure you meet all program qualifications
  2. Remove any deceased registered owners from the property title
  3. Pay any debt owing from the previous taxation year, such as unpaid property taxes, penalties, utility fees, unclaimed home owner grant (if eligible) or interest
  4. Do not pay your current year taxes or you’ll have to wait and apply the following year. This is not a refund program
  5. Claim your home owner grant, if eligible, when you receive your annual property tax notice
  6. Contact your bank or tax office to cancel any automatic payments being made to your property tax account. This ensures your current year taxes remain unpaid at the time of deferment
  7. If you have a secured debt on your property, such as a mortgage or a line of credit, contact your lender to ensure your approval into the program doesn't conflict with the terms of your loan


You'll need the following information for your application:
 

  • Your jurisdiction and roll number (also called a folio number or account number)
    • These can be found on your property tax notice or your BC Assessment notice issued each January
  • Your social insurance number (SIN)
  • Your date of birth
  • Digital copies of supporting documentation, if necessary
  • Your PTD number (renewals only)

We verify your citizenship, equity and residence with your SIN and date of birth. This is a loan program and is very similar to the process of asking for a loan at your financial institution.


Your personal information is encrypted at the time of entry to ensure your information is kept secure.


The application has a built-in equity calculator to confirm your eligibility. Having the following documents available may help you answer the equity questions:
 

  • Current notice from BC Assessment 
  • Current mortgage statement
  • Line of credit statement indicating the credit limit
  • Home insurance documents

 

2

Apply or renew your tax deferment application

Ensure you meet all eligibility requirements and have the information you need ready before you apply or renew an application.

You may need to submit supporting documentation with your application if you’re applying:

  • On behalf of a registered owner
  • As a surviving spouse (Regular Program only)
  • As a person with disabilities or as a parent or stepparent of a person with disabilities

When you apply, you may set up automatic renewal for subsequent years.

If you have automatic renewal set up already, you don't need to submit an application. Our office will determine if you meet the program requirements and may contact you by email or mail requesting additional information. 

Requested information is due 30 days from the date the email request was sent or when the letter was issued. If they're not received by the due date, your application will be cancelled and late penalties will apply if it's after your property tax due date.

Penalties are legislative and cannot be waived or removed.

Find out more about:

Apply or renew

3

Have all registered owners agree to defer property taxes

If there’s more than one registered owner or authorized representative of the property, they each must agree to the application’s terms and conditions.

For them to agree, you must share the following information with them:

Each registered owner or authorized representative must agree to the application's terms and conditions within 28 days of the application date.

Your application will not be processed until all owners enter into the agreement.

A reminder letter will be mailed to you 14 days after you apply if the other owners have not entered into the agreement.

Your application will be cancelled if each owner does not enter into the agreement within the 28 days.

If a registered owner is deceased, you must contact the Land Title Office to remove them from the property title. You may have to re-apply once they’re removed.

4

Submit further information (if requested)

We may request additional information by mail or email when we process your application to confirm your eligibility.

Some firewall protection settings may prevent our emails from coming to you. Add taxdeferment@gov.bc.ca to your contacts so our emails don't go into your spam or junk folder.

If you need to submit additional information, you have 30 days from when the email request was sent or when the letter was issued to do so. If they’re not received by the due date, your application will be cancelled and late payment penalties will apply if it’s after your property tax due date.

Late payment penalties are legislative and cannot be waived or removed.

5

Check your application status

You can check your application status online using:

  • Your confirmation number, or
  • Your jurisdiction, roll number and last name

Check your application status

6

When your application is approved or denied

After you apply to defer your taxes, we’ll review your application and either approve or deny it.


If your application is approved:

  1. We'll pay your property taxes on your behalf after the tax due date and place a restrictive lien on your property. This means you're limited in the types of changes you can make to your property’s title while you're in the tax deferment program
  2. You’ll receive an approval letter by mail
  3. You may enrol for an eTaxBC account


Fees

If you applied for or renewed the Regular Program, a fee is added to your account:

  • $60 for new applications
  • $10 for renewals

There are no fees for the Families with Children Program.


Interest

Simple interest is charged on the deferred tax amount starting from the date your property taxes are due or the date you applied to defer, whichever is later. Find out how interest is applied to your tax deferment loan.


If your application is denied, you may try applying again next year.

If your application is denied after the tax due date, you'll be charged a late payment penalty.

Your application may have been denied if:
 

  • You paid your current year’s property taxes in full
  • You sold your home
  • You refinanced your mortgage for a higher amount and, as a result, you no longer have sufficient equity
  • You had debt owing from the previous tax year such as unpaid property taxes, penalties, utility fees, unclaimed home owner grant (if eligible) or interest
  • You failed to provide the requested information to support your application by the letter due date
  • You changed owner information on the property title
  • The property is no longer your principal residence
  • You added a restrictive lien to your property title
  • You subdivided the property
  • You were in arrears for child or spousal support that's secured by a registered charge on your property title
  • Any legal action was taken against your property, such as a foreclosure
  • You entered bankruptcy or consumer proposal proceedings
  • You have a Duplicate Indefeasible Title on your property title

7

Enrol for eTaxBC (optional)

If you've been approved for the program, you can enrol for an eTaxBC logon to manage your property tax deferment account online.

Creating an eTaxBC logon to view your property tax deferment account allows you to:

  • See your account balance
  • Request a payout letter or balance of account letter
  • Make a payment using pre-authorized debit
  • Send us a message
  • Update your name or mailing address
  • Check the status of your application or renewal if you have automatic renewal set up

If you’re updating your name, you must first update it with the Land Title Office and the BC Assessment Office. Our records must match their records.

To enrol, you'll need your:

  • Account type: Property Tax - Deferment
  • Account number
  • Letter ID

You can find your account number and letter ID on your property tax notice or Statement of Account.

Enrol for eTaxBC

Repay your loan

You can repay all or part of your tax deferment loan any time during the year. Monthly interest will be added to your account balance on the 23rd of each month until it is paid in full.  

If you would like to pay your loan and keep your account open, leave a minimum balance of $25.00. However, if you’re selling your home or adding someone who's not a spouse to your property title, your account must be paid in full.

If you plan on refinancing, check with your lender to see if they require you to pay out your loan.

Before you make a payment to your tax deferment account, confirm your balance:


Your payout letter will include:
 

  • Your PTD account number
  • The current amount outstanding, plus the next two months with interest calculated
  • Payment instructions

The letter will also indicate whether the balance due includes the current year taxes or not.

Note: If you request a payout letter, your account will freeze. This means if you submitted a renewal after you requested a payout letter, or if you signed up for automatic renewal, your current year taxes may not be applied to your account balance and be reflected in the letter. If you want to defer the current year taxes and have it reflected in your payout letter, contact us.

You can repay your deferred property taxes using any of the available payment methods.

If a lawyer, notary or another party is paying your loan on your behalf, see lawyer, notary or other party for more information.

When you've paid your loan in full

If you pay your account in full, your agreement will close. The Land Title Office or Personal Property Registry (for manufactured homes) will release the tax deferment lien when they receive a Notice of Satisfaction from our office.

We’ll send the Notice of Satisfaction once your payment has been processed or cleared.

If you repay your loan in full using non-guaranteed funds, such as a personal cheque, it will take at least 30 days to clear your payment. We can’t change this clearing time.

We'll mail your confirmation when your payment has been processed.

It may take several weeks for the lien to be removed after your tax deferment account is paid in full. Contact the Land Title Office to follow up on the status of your lien.

If you want to defer your taxes again

If you wish to defer your property taxes in the future, you must submit a new application. Renewal applications will not be accepted on a closed account.


 

Contact

Contact us with your questions about deferring your property taxes.