Speculation and Vacancy Tax

The New Speculation and Vacancy Tax

If you own an home in West Vancouver or North Vancouver you will be required to opt-out of the new Speculation and Vacancy Tax, or you will be charged the tax by default. Homes in West Vancouver and North Vancouver are subject to the speculation and vacancy tax (SVT) if the property in question is not their primary home. In other words, if the property is your primary home you are exempt but you must submit the required paperwork.

The required forms have started to be sent out by postal mail and if you haven’t yet received the notice and form, it should be in your mailbox within the next month. Alternatively, you can do your declation on-line via the

B.C. Government website Speculation and Vacancy Tax Page.

The deadline to submit the declaration and exemption form is March 31, 2019. If you haven’t received your letter by the end of February you should phone the speculation and vacancy tax call centre at 1-833-554-2323.

According to the BC Government website, most British Columbians will be exempt if the home is their principal residence or they rent out their property for at least 3 months of the year in 2018, this changes to 6 months for 2019. Short-term rentals for periods of less than one month do not count toward the total.

The tax is retroactive, there is a fee for 2018 of 0.5% of the properties assessed value for all properties subject to the tax. In 2019, the fee will be 0.5% for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Foreign owners will be subject to 2% SVT.

The speculation and vacancy tax applies based on ownership as of December 31 each year.

A speculation and vacancy tax year is the same as a calendar year. Tax levied on December 31 is due the following July. For example, for a property owned as of December 31, 2018, the 2018 tax rate of 0.5% applies and the tax is due on July 2, 2019.

There are rumours that people are trying to encourage home owners not to submit the SVT forms as a way of protest. This is not a good idea. Don’t put yourself at risk, submit the forms and ensure that you are compliant. If you have concerns with regards to this tax contact your MLA or phone the B.C. Government SVT toll free number at 1-833-554-2323.