Property transfer tax return guide

If you’re filing a property transfer tax return, this resource may help you prepare the information you need to complete the return.

Before filing a return, we recommend you consult with a legal professional.

Find out what information you’ll need for each of the following sections of the return:

Transferee or Purchaser

The transferee is the individual or corporation who gains a legal interest in the property and has the legal right to occupy that property.

The information needed for each transferee depends on the type of transferee. Types of transferees include individuals, corporations, societies and other types of entities.

For each transferee, identify whether they qualify for an exemption. For a full list of property transfer tax exemptions and their corresponding codes, see Exemption Codes.

All exemption claims are reviewed to ensure eligibility.

Individual transferees

An individual transferee must provide the following information:

An individual transferee must also indicate:

If a transferee is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, they must provide their:

  • 9-digit Individual Tax Number (ITN) from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) if they don’t have a SIN
  • Country or state of citizenship

If a transferee is claiming the B.C. Provincial Nominee exemption, they must provide their B.C. Provincial Nominee (PN) Certificate Number and effective date.

Corporate transferees

A corporate transferee can expect to provide the following information:

  • Legal corporation name
  • 9-digit Business Number (BN) assigned by the CRA
  • Mailing address and contact information
  • Percentage interest the corporation is acquiring in the property
  • Information on each director (unless excluded)

A corporate transferee must also indicate:

Other types of transferees

Other types of transferees may include an association, financial institution, government, society or strata corporation. In this case, transferees can expect to provide the same information as a corporate transferee.

The transferee will need to provide a description of the type of transferee if it’s not listed in the return.

Transfers involving a trust and a bare trust

When a transferee is a trust, they will be expected to provide the name of the trust and additional information for each beneficiary unless the trust is excluded from the additional information disclosure requirements.

If the transferee is a bare trust, they must provide details on the settlors and beneficiaries. A bare trust means the trustee can act only on instructions from the beneficiaries.

Settlors or beneficiaries that are individuals can expect to provide the same information required of an individual transferee. Settlors or beneficiaries that are corporations can expect to provide the same information expected of a corporate transferee.

Director and corporate interest holder information

Each transferee must identify individuals or corporations who have a beneficial and legal ownership in land, or a significant interest or control or exercisable rights in the land-owning corporation. Details on each director and corporate interest holder will be required unless the corporation is excluded from the additional information disclosure requirements.

Directors, settlors and beneficiaries who are individuals and corporate interest holders can expect to provide the same information required of an individual transferee. Directors who are corporations can expect to provide the same information expected of a corporate transferee.

Transferor or Vendor

A transferor is the individual or corporation who transfers their legal interest in a property to a transferee.

When completing the return, a transferee must identify the transferor type and provide their name and contact information.

Transferees are responsible for making a reasonable effort to confirm the transferor’s residency status and whether they’re a resident or non-resident of Canada under the Income Tax Act (Canada). In most cases, this information can be copied from the Contract of Purchase and Sale.

If that information isn’t available in the contract and transferees are unsure of how to collect the information, or there are serious concerns about providing the vendor details, contact us. Transferees should also provide an attachment to the tax return explaining why the information wasn’t provided.

Penalties may apply for providing false information or not attempting to obtain and provide the information.

The Canada Revenue Agency publication IC72-17R6 explains the transferee’s responsibility to confirm the residency status of the vendor.

Note: Residency under the Income Tax Act (Canada) differs from the definition of residency as permanent resident under the Property Transfer Tax Act.

Property Description

Transferees will be expected to provide the following information about the property:

  • The date the transaction was completed
  • The date of the Interim Agreement or Contract
  • The MLS number (if applicable)
  • Whether the state of the property at registration is land and improvements or vacant land
  • The property class
  • Total interest in the property acquired by all transferees
  • Transaction type
  • The civic address
  • The parcel identifier (PID) or plan number
  • A legal description
  • The municipality or regional district the property is located in

Transferees may also need to indicate whether the property is a pre-sold strata unit. If so, provide a copy of the Contract of Purchase and Sale or Purchasers Statement of Adjustments with their filing.

If the transfer involves multiple properties, transferees will need to provide details for every property that’s part of the transfer. Most of this information should be available through BC Assessment, a municipal tax notice or a title search from the LTSA.

Terms

Transferees must provide information about how the sale was financed. This includes:

  • The allocation of financing
  • The cash payment needed for the purchase
  • The name and branch number of the lender (if applicable)
  • Other considerations paid in the transfer

If the transferee is acquiring the property through a trade, the traded property details will be collected. 

Allocation of Gross Purchase Price

If the transfer involves non-residential property, there may be considerations if the final sale price is above the real property (land and buildings) value. In those cases, the transferee can expect to provide the allocation of the total purchase price to the real property, chattels, fixtures and any intangible considerations, such as goodwill and quotas.

Additional Information

If transferees are claiming an exemption, they must provide information to support their claim.

Some additional information that might be expected, depending on the exemption claimed, include:

  • Transferees’ relationships to transferors

  • Lease term: The length of the lease agreement, including any renewals

  • A Charitable Registration Number: A registration number issued by the CRA to a registered charity, such as a charitable organization, public foundation or private foundation

  • Advance Tax Ruling Number: When we respond to an advanced tax ruling (ATR) request before the transfer is registered with the LTSA, we include an ATR number in the letter

  • Jurisdiction and section: Required for transfers involving amalgamations

  • Order in Council (OIC) Number: Required only if the transfer involves an Order in Council

  • Separation Agreement or Court Order: If you claim exemption code 15, you should attach a copy of the signed separation agreement, court order or divorce decree

Property Value Information

Transferees will need to provide property value information and some additional property details to calculate the tax payable for the transfer and the exemption amounts.

Transferees must provide the total fair market value of the property.

If the additional property transfer tax, the further tax on residential properties over $3,000,000, or certain exemptions apply, transferees may also need to provide the:

  • Size of the property in hectares, acres or square feet
  • Total value of all improvements and land on the property
  • Allocation of value to residential improvements and land from the total value

Property Transfer Tax Calculation

The tax payable, if any, will be determined based on:

  • The transferee information
  • The exemption claimed
  • Property information and values

If there is a difference between the gross purchase price and the fair market value, transferees must provide an explanation as to why.

You may use our property transfer tax calculator or refer to our property transfer tax calculation examples to estimate your property transfer tax payable.

Note: If a previous property transfer was withdrawn or cancelled at the LTSA, and property transfer tax was paid at that time, the transferee(s) must indicate the withdrawn or cancelled title number and the tax already paid. The previous tax paid will be applied to the current transfer. 

Certification

Each transferee must sign a paper copy of their property transfer tax return. For the web-based return, the legal professional will then electronically certify the return using their Jurisert before submitting the return.

Attachments

Transferees must attach any required documents or documents they deem important to their property transfer tax return. These documents may include, but aren’t limited to:

  • A BC Provincial Nominee Confirmation of Nomination
  • Separation agreements/court orders
  • Trust agreements
  • Declaration of a Trustee
  • A Contract of Purchase and Sale or Purchasers Statement of Adjustment
  • An explanation of the effort made to either:
    • Confirm the residency status of the transferor
    • Identify and report all corporate interest holders
    • Identify and report all settlors and beneficiaries.