Appeals for Speculation and Vacancy Tax

You may be able to appeal a speculation and vacancy tax assessment if you believe an error was made.

Before you appeal to the Minister of Finance, contact the Property Taxation Branch to find out why you received a Notice of Assessment. We may be able to answer your questions, provide further information or help to resolve your concerns. 

Note that contacting us doesn't start the appeal process or extend the deadline to file your appeal.

If you have general concerns about how the speculation and vacancy tax applies or about the tax itself, contact us at spectaxinfo@gov.bc.ca

Pay Your Assessment

You should pay your assessment even if you're filing an appeal. If you don't pay the assessment, you'll continue to be charged interest and may be subject to collection action.

Paying an assessment doesn't mean you accept the assessment or other decision made by the ministry, and doesn't impact how your appeal will be resolved. If your appeal is successful, you'll be credited for any overpayment plus interest.

What You Can Appeal

You may be able to appeal the following:

  • An assessment resulting from:
    • an audit or review to verify the information you submitted in your declaration
    • a reassessment issued by Canada Revenue Agency under the Income Tax Act (Canada)
    • a denial of, or change in, the designation of a person with disabilities
    • a revised or supplementary property assessment issued by BC Assessment (contact BC Assessment to discuss your concerns if you disagree with their revised or supplementary property assessment)
    • a determination that a transaction is an avoidance transaction (for example, you transfer your property to a relative to avoid paying the tax)
    • a determination of misrepresentation or fraud
    • a determination that you are jointly and severally liable for the tax (for example, you are assessed for the tax owed by a co-owner of a property)
    • a determination that corporations are associated corporations for lien purposes
  • A refund denial
  • A tax credit denial
  • Interest or penalties

You cannot appeal:

  • An assessment because you disagree with the speculation and vacancy tax
  • An assessment you receive because you didn't submit a declaration by the deadline (see Note below)

Note: Completing the declaration is the first step for everyone. If you receive an assessment because you haven’t declared, completing the declaration may eliminate the assessment. If you complete your declaration and you still receive an assessment, you may then be able to appeal based on one of the appealable reasons listed above.

Contact the Property Taxation Branch at spectaxinfo@gov.bc.ca or toll free at 1 833 554-2323 if you have questions or concerns about:

  • Submitting your declaration after the deadline and after you receive a Notice of Assessment
  • Re-submitting your declaration
  • Submitting additional documentation or information to support your declaration

File an Appeal

You can file an appeal by completing the Appeal to Minister form (FIN 298) (PDF) or by writing a letter to the Minister of Finance. Your appeal must be signed by you or by an authorized person (for example, a legal representative or agent). Include:

  • Your name, address and daytime telephone number
  • A copy of the assessment or decision you’re appealing
  • The facts and reasons for your appeal
  • Any documents that support your appeal

If your appeal is handled on your behalf by your legal representative or another person as your agent, you must provide the ministry with written authorization before we can discuss your appeal with that person. The Appeal to Minister form (FIN 298) (PDF) contains a section for representative information. If you’re writing a letter, you can complete the Authorization: Appeal to Minister (FIN 87) (PDF).

Submit your appeal and any supporting documents before the deadline to:

  • Mailing Address
    c/o Tax Appeals and Litigation Branch
    The Minister of Finance
    PO Box 9629 Stn Prov Govt
    Victoria BC  V8W 9N6
  • Fax
    250 387-5883
  • Courier Address
    Tax Appeals and Litigation Branch
    Ministry of Finance
    1802 Douglas Street
    Victoria BC  V8T 4K6

Deadline for Appeal

Your appeal must be received by the minister within 90 days of the date on the assessment or other decision you’re appealing.

Understand the Appeal Review Process

Once you've filed an appeal, your request will be reviewed by the Tax Appeals and Litigation Branch to confirm it meets the requirements of the legislation. If your appeal meets the requirements, an acknowledgement letter will be sent to you. Otherwise, you'll receive a letter explaining why your appeal doesn't meet the requirements.

Find out more about the appeal review process:

If you don't agree with the minister's decision, you may have the right to further appeal.