Homeowners in designated taxable municipalities covered by the speculation and vacancy tax will soon receive their annual declaration letters, as part of the Province’s work to fight real estate speculation and deliver more homes to people.
During the next month, the Province is mailing owners of residential properties instructions to file their declaration before the March 31, 2024, deadline in areas where the tax applies. Owners of residential properties in North Cowichan, Lake Cowichan, Duncan, Ladysmith, Lions Bay and Squamish will declare for the first time.
The speculation and vacancy tax helps curb real estate speculation and encourages people to return empty homes to the market for people in B.C. to rent or buy.
More than 99% of British Columbia residents are exempt from the tax, although all owners with residential properties in the taxable areas must declare. The majority of property owners who use their unit as a principal home, rent it out for more than six months of the year, or meet other exemption criteria do not have to pay the tax.
If owners are not exempt, they must pay their assessed amount by the first business day in July. A penalty may apply to owners who do not pay by the due date.
The speculation and vacancy tax is part of B.C.’s Homes for People plan that includes actions to fight real estate speculation, put more homes within people’s reach and speed up delivery of new homes.
- More than $81 million was raised in 2022 through the speculation and vacancy tax to go back into affordable housing in areas where homeowners are subject to the tax.
- In fiscal year 2022-23, the Province invested more than $1.3 billion in housing initiatives in regions where the speculation and vacancy tax applies.
- Every year, the Ministry of Finance consults mayors from areas where the tax applies to share data and gather feedback.
- This data helps inform discussions about how the tax is working in those communities.
- The speculation and vacancy tax applies in 59 communities in B.C., including 13 new communities where homeowners will declare for the first time in 2025.
To learn more about the speculation and vacancy tax, visit: https://gov.bc.ca/spectax
To learn more about the recent expansion, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023FIN0065-001819
To learn more about Homes for People plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436