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Declaration for speculation tax now mandatory for all property owners in BC

Declaration for Speculation and Vacancy Tax

All residential property owners in the designated taxable regionsmust complete an annual declaration for the speculation and vacancy tax. Where there are multiple owners of a home, a declaration must be completed by each owner, including spouses.

You must complete a declaration to claim an exemption. Over 99% of all British Columbians will be exempt from the tax.

The deadline to complete your declaration is March 31.

If you don’t complete your declaration, you’ll receive a tax notice charging you the tax at the maximum tax rate. You can still complete your declaration to claim an exemption even after you've received a tax notice.

If you don’t own residential property in a designated taxable region, you don’t need to complete a declaration.

How to Declare and Claim Your Exemption

If you own residential property in a designated taxable regionon December 31, the Province will send you a speculation and vacancy tax declaration letter in the mail by mid-February. Contact us if you’re expecting a declaration letter from us and haven’t received one by late February.

Your declaration letter will list all the residential properties you own in the designated taxable regions and will tell you how to declare and claim any relevant exemptions. The letter will be sent to you at your mailing address on file with BC Assessment.

If you need to update your mailing address, please contact BC Assessmentto do so.

Your letter will include two unique identification numbers: a declaration code and a letter ID. These numbers match you to your property. You'll need these numbers to complete your declaration. You'll also need your social insurance number to verify your identity.

This is what your letter will look like:

Sample of Declaration letter

As soon as you receive your declaration letter, you can complete your declaration through the online declaration application. You will be guided through the exemption options for each property.

If you prefer, you can declare over the phone with the help of an agent by calling us after you receive your declaration letter. Language translation services are available over the phone.

Complete your declaration right away to claim any relevant exemptions and avoid receiving a tax notice.

Someone else can complete your declaration online for you if they:

  • Have your unique identification numbers from your letter
  • Have your social insurance number
  • Complete an Authorization as a Representative form (FIN 146)

However, if someone else is completing your declaration over the phone, you must also be present on the call. This is because protecting your personal information is important to us.

Note: The speculation and vacancy tax is distinct from the empty homes tax in the City of Vancouver.

* Taken from the Government of British Columbia website page:

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