Understand Your Property Transfer Tax
You are charged property transfer tax when you make changes to a property's title, including:
- acquiring a registered interest in the property
- gaining an additional registered interest in the property
- becoming the registered holder of a lease, life estate, or right to purchase for the property
The property transfer tax rate is:
- 1% on the first $200,000,
- 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000,
- 3% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000, and
- if the property is residential, a further 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $3,000,000 (effective February 21, 2018).
If the property is classified as residential and farm, or is residential mixed class (such as residential and commercial), you pay the further 2% tax on only the residential portion of the property. Use our Property Transfer Tax Calculator for Residential Property over $3,000,000 (PDF) to help you determine the tax amount owing.
To find out how to calculate the property transfer tax, see Calculation Examples below.
If you’re a foreign national, foreign corporation or taxable trustee and the residential property is located in specified areas of B.C., you also have to pay the additional property transfer tax on the fair market value of your proportionate share.
If the fair market value of a property is $650,000, the tax paid is $11,000.
- 1% on the first $200,000 = $2,000
- 2% on the remaining $450,000 = $9,000
- $2,000 + $9,000 = $11,000
If the fair market value of a property classified entirely as residential is $4,500,000, the tax paid is $143,000.
- 1% on the first $200,000 = $2,000
- 2% on portion greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000 = $36,000 ($2,000,000 - $200,000 = $1,800,000 X 2% = $36,000)
- 3% on portion greater than $2,000,000 = $75,000 ($4,500,000 - $2,000,000 = $2,500,000 X 3% = $75,000)
- A further 2% on the portion greater than $3,000,000 = $30,000 ($4,500,000 - $3,000,000 = $1,500,000 X 2% = $30,000)
- $2,000 + $36,000 + $75,000 + $30,000 = $143,000
To find out how to calculate the further 2% tax in other scenarios, including mixed class properties, see the Property Transfer Tax Calculator for Residential Property over $3,000,000 (PDF).
Estimate Tax Payable
Use the property transfer tax calculator to estimate the tax you owe based on the fair market value of your property.
Note: The calculator doesn't calculate the further 2% tax on residential property greater than $3,000,000 or the additional property transfer tax on residential property transfers to foreign entities or taxable trustees.
Fair market value is the price that would be paid by a willing purchaser to a willing seller for a property (land and improvements) in the open market on the date of registration.
A property transfer is considered to be in the open market when anyone likely to be interested in purchasing the property can make an offer. For example, the seller lists the property with a realtor or advertises it for sale.
The purchase price is considered the fair market value in most cases as long as you register the property within a few months of signing the sales contract. Otherwise, you will need to verify that the purchase price is fair market value if:
- there was a significant change in value
- the condition of the property changed
- you didn't purchase the property in the open market
Non-Open Market Transfers
When a property transfer doesn't take place in the open market, fair market value may be determined using other means such as:
- a recent independent appraisal, or
- the property valuation provided by BC Assessment
Generally, the property valuation provided by BC Assessment reflects your property’s fair market value as of July 1 of the previous year. For example, the 2016 roll value reflects market conditions at July 1, 2015. This means that the assessed value may not reflect the current fair market value of your property.
The current property valuation provided by BC Assessment can’t be used in certain cases, such as when:
- changes have been made to the property (e.g. rezoning) since the assessment
- market conditions in the area of the property have changed since the assessment
- the land is classified as farm land (class 9)
- new or additional construction has been completed