EMPTY HOME TAX FOR VANCOUVER HOME OWNERS
Good Afternoon on this Fantastic Friday!
Just a reminder your Empty Homes Tax declaration is due FEB, 4 2019
By now, you should have received your Empty Homes Tax Declaration in the mail. Note that ALL homeowners are required to complete & submit the declaration.
If you have not received it, we highly recommend giving the city a call ASAP! You can call the City of Vancouver at 604 873-7000
Failing to meet or not completing the declaration date, and if the property is presumed vacant, will result in a 1% vacancy tax of the property’s assessed value as well as a $250 fine.
Declaring is Easy
- First, have your notice with you. Go online to Vancouver.ca/eht-declare
You will be asked for the FOLIO number (Found in the top-right corner of your Assessment Notice) on your bill – enter that number in the field provided
- You will then be asked to enter in your ACCESS CODE, which too is on your bill next to the FOLIO number.
- You will be asked a series of questions and required to agree on your declaration
- Click on “Submit declaration”
- Finally, you will receive an email confirmation
If you are having any troubles or have any further questions, you can call 604 873-7000 and the City of Vancouver can take your declaration over the phone. It’s very quick as well.
If the property is not deemed a rental and/or not your primary residence, and you are subject to the tax you can pay the tax by:
- Through your bank
- Mail a cheque
- Pay in person at City Hall Revenue Services
NOTE: If not paid by Feb 4th, however, you will ensure a 5% penalty.
About the Empty Homes Tax
The Empty Home Tax was introduced by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, through the City of Vancouver and came into effect January of 2017. The purpose of the tax is to primarily target second properties that could be on the rental market but were being primarily used as business holdings. At the time the tax was introduced, Vancouver rental vacancy rate was very low compared to other major cities at 0.6%, so as a solution to counteract the low vacancy rate the tax was a way to add current vacant homes into the rental market.
Of course, this too was introduced as a way of generating income for the city. The Empty Home Tax is based on the property’s assessment from the previous year and taxed at 1% of that value. Know that most homes will not have to pay the tax, as it does not apply to Vancouver homes that have been rented for the past 6 months of the year or if your home is your principal residence. Do note, however, that ALL homeowners are required to submit the declaration.
Exemptions to the Empty Home Tax
There are a few exemptions that could allow you to not pay the tax:
- If your home is under construction
- If you home was either bought or sold during the year of 2018
- If there are strata restrictions on renting in your building
Where are the Empty Home tax dollars being used?
After all the taxes have been collected, the City of Vancouver has indicated that they will then take the net revenues and reinvest them into affordable housing initiatives for Vancouver. The city is illustrating that it will go towards the Vancouver Housing Action Plan to further solve the affordability crisis ensuring that housing in Vancouver will support more residents with varied incomes and make housing more livable & affordable.
Is the Empty Home Tax the Same as the Speculation and Vacancy Tax?
No, the Empty Home Tax is completely separate from the Speculation and Vacancy Tax which we will cover in an upcoming communication. To find out more about the Speculation and Vacancy Tax, go online at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/speculation-and-vacancy-tax
As your Vancouver Real Estate Professionals, we feel it is important that our clients take advantage of every benefit and tax savings that they can in the Vancouver Real Estate Market. Ensuring you are not required to pay the Empty Home tax is important for continued savings as a Vancouver homeowner especially with a higher cost of living. Particularly First-Time Home Buyers need to be aware of the tax and ensure they take the time to make the declaration as every dollar saved counts when owning your first home.
As one of the Top Real Estate Teams, we are deeply committed to our client’s happiness & success. We are proud to build long term relationships with our clients and are always here to assist you with your real estate questions or needs long after the buying or selling of your property.
If you have any further questions about the Empty Home Tax, our team or Real Estate Professionals with years of education, experience and expertise who are ready to assist you with all your questions and real estate needs, please give us a call. We would love to help you with any questions you may have.
For further information about the Empty Home Tax, you can go online at https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/empty-homes-tax.aspx