Vancouver’s speculation tax: what you need to know as deadline approaches

Noah Bergstrom / March 26th, 2019

Speculation tax is expected to “Raise revenue that will directly support affordable housing.” (www. bc.gov.ca)

The BC government’s tax site boasts that 99% of British Columbia’s residents will dodge the 2019 speculation tax. That still leaves over 200,000 home owners that have waited until these final days to send in their exemption paperwork, an act of procrastination that could cost them .05% of their homes assessed value.

The deadline for submissions is Sunday, March 31st.

The provincial government won’t come looking for the taxes until July 2nd, 2019 and hasn’t made clear what will be done to those that miss Sunday’s deadline.

Foreign investors and satellite families are expected to make up the 1 per cent paying during this first year of the speculation tax. Many British Columbians caught a break because of provisions that exempt any residence listed as primary and any home that was rented for more than 3 months in 2018.

The designated taxable regions focus on urban portions of the province, where move-in ready homes are often left vacant by investors looking to renovate, or hold on for a higher return. All home owners in Metro Vancouver should have been served forms in February.

Property value in the lower mainland has made the area an embodiment of the province-wide housing crisis and a prime target for the speculation tax that will be issued on top of the cities empty home tax.

Aiya Benasso / BCIT news

With files from Aiya Benaso.