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New Speculation and Vacancy Tax to Effect BC Home Owners
**Important! All BC Home owners need to put March 31, 2019 onto their calendars.
As of January 16, 2019 a new Speculation and Vacancy Tax has taken effect. This new tax will apply to all homes in Greater Victoria, Nanaimo, Kelowna and Metro Vancouver (excluding Bowen Island and Lions Bay, but including Abbotsford, Mission and Chilliwack.
Check this link to see a list of taxable regions to know if it applies to you!
Sometime this week the Ministry of Finance is said to be sending out letters to homeowners that outline the first speculation tax fees and exemption processes. Home owners are responsible for exemptions with the deadline to do so being March 31, 2019. For those who don’t apply, or who don’t qualify, they will be sent tax bills that are due to be paid by July 2, 2019. This tax is also retroactive, so letters will include taxes that were incurred during the 2018 calendar year.
The NDP Government announced the new tax in February 2018 as a part of their 2018 Budget. It is said to be put in place as a way to restrict homes being bought and left vacant by speculators. It also serves as a way to encourage home owners to place their empty homes onto the rental market or to sell in areas where rental properties are scarce, or housing is unaffordable.
Some are quite concerned about the new tax and how it will affect all those who own homes in British Columbia. Before panic sets in, keep in mind that home owners are ‘exempt from the tax if it is their principal residence, they rent it at least six months of the year (only three months is required in 2018), they are disabled, the property was just inherited, it's under $150,000, or a person was away and it was vacant due to medical reasons, residential care, work or spousal separation. According to the Government of BC, 99% of all British Columbians will be exempt from the new tax; however, you MUST remember to complete a declaration to claim an exemption.
For more information on the New Speculation and Vacancy tax, check out these following links: