Media Contacts

Ministry of Finance

Media Relations
250 208-0706

Backgrounders

Common filing questions asked by reporting bodies

1. Who are pre-existing reporting bodies?

Under the Land Owner Transparency Act, pre-existing reporting bodies are corporations, trusts or partnerships that owned or otherwise had an interest in land prior to Nov. 30, 2020, and continue to own or have an interest.

2. What can corporations include?

Corporations can include small private corporations, limited liability corporations and incorporated non-profits (societies). Some small businesses that own land, such as a vehicle garage, may be considered a reporting body that needs to file.

3. What do partnerships include?

Partnerships can include general partnerships, limited partnerships, liability partnerships or foreign partnerships. Marriage is not considered a partnership in this context.

4. What do trusts include?

Trusts include express, intentional trusts and bare trusts.

5. Why do corporations need to file if they are in the corporate registry?

The information provided in the corporate registry is different from the information that will be provided as part of a filing to the Land Owner Transparency Registry. Information from pre-existing owners is necessary to ensure that the Province has a full picture of beneficial land ownership in B.C.

6. Why do incorporated societies (non-profits) have to file?

It is important that the registry applies broadly to most types of land owners to ensure that money launderers do not hide activities from one type of ownership to another.

The Land Owner Transparency Registry is an important tool that will give B.C. a clearer picture of who is purchasing land in the province, support anti-money laundering work and help close tax loopholes.

7. Why must reporting bodies file through a legal representative?

This a requirement of the Land Titles and Survey Authority of B.C. (LTSA) that administers the registry.

Legal professionals can assist pre-existing owners in helping them understand whether they need to file and then they submit the completed transparency report electronically. Legal professionals will also complete identity verification known as “Know Your Client” as required by the legal profession.

8. What are the possible consequences if a reporting body does not file?

Consequences for not filing when legally required can be substantial with penalties of as much as $25,000 for an individual or $50,000 for a corporation, or 5% of the assessed value of the property –whichever is greater.

9. Will non-compliant reporting bodies face fines right away if they do not file on time?

This is a first-of-its-kind registry and the Province’s priority is ensuring that everyone understands what they need to do. This means that government will first determine if non-compliance was intentional, and, if people are working in good faith to meet a requirement, an enforcement officer could waive fines.

If actions are determined to be purposefully negligent, then reporting bodies could face significant fines.