Speculation and Vacancy Tax

The speculation and vacancy tax is designed to prevent housing speculation and help turn vacant and underutilized properties into homes for people who live and work in B.C. The tax is a part of the B.C. government’s 30-Point Plan to address the housing crisis and help make life more affordable for people.

This annual tax is payable by owners of residential property in designated taxable regions of B.C. More than 99% of British Columbians are estimated to be exempt from the tax.

All residential property owners in the designated taxable regions will have to complete an annual declaration to claim any relevant exemptions. Where there are multiple owners of a home, a declaration must be completed for each owner. Further information on how to declare will be mailed to all owners of residential property within the taxable regions by mid-February.

The speculation and vacancy tax rate varies depending on the owner’s tax residency and whether the owner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or a member of a satellite family.

For 2018, the tax will be levied at:

  • 0.5% of the property’s assessed value for all properties subject to the tax

For 2019 and subsequent years, the tax will be levied at:

  • 2% for foreign owners and satellite families
  • 0.5% for British Columbians and other Canadian* citizens or permanent residents who are not members of a satellite family

The tax will be levied on owners who own the property on December 31 of each taxation year.

By levying the highest tax rate on foreign owners and satellite families, the tax ensures those with limited social and economic ties to the province pay the largest share.

Read our answers to questions on the proposed speculation and vacancy tax and learn about how to declare, the taxable regions and the available exemptions.

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