Deadline to submit speculation and vacancy tax declarations is near

Attention all homeowners: the deadline to submit your speculation and vacancy tax declarations is this month.

All owners should have received a letter in the mail, which will have all the instructions needed in order to submit the declaration.

Those who use their property as their main home or rent it out for at least six months don’t have to pay a tax, but are still required to declare.

Meanwhile, those who are not exempt have to pay an assessed amount by July 1, with possible penalties for late payments.

These measures target mainly empty homes and are further meant to discourage people from using the housing market as a means of making profit. As well, the government says it is a way to ensure foreign owners with income primarily from foreign sources contribute fairly to the province’s tax system.

Over 99 per cent of British Columbians do not have to pay any speculation and vacancy tax, the province says. As well, the tax is only applied in urban centres that, “at the time of implementation, were experiencing near-zero vacancy rates and housing prices that were disproportionately high compared to local incomes.”

The B.C. government says the speculation and vacancy tax applies in 59 communities across the province, including 13 new ones. Newly taxable areas for 2024 include the City of Duncan, the District of North Cowichan, and the District of Squamish.

The government says it raised more than $81 million through the tax in 2022.

The deadline to submit the declaration is March 31.

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