BC’S SPECULATION TAX

Targeting Speculators

Exempting 99% of
British Columbians

Taking on the housing crisis

BC’s new speculation tax is designed to help make housing in overheated markets more affordable and available.

For too long, this housing crisis was allowed to escalate and it’s hurting working families, renters, seniors, students and others around the province. With this new tax, we’re telling speculators to free up the homes they’re keeping empty so they can be used by British Columbians desperate for housing – or be ready to start paying more.

On the flip side, this means 99% of British Columbians – even if they own vacation homes – will not have to pay this tax. The speculation tax targets non-residents and the 1% who are buying solely for profit and driving up prices for everyone else.

Couple at the lake

Speculation tax highlights

  • The speculation tax will help make sure British Columbians can afford to live in their own province.
  • It will help push speculators out of the housing market and turn vacant properties back into homes for people.
  • Primary residences are exempt from the tax.
  • Properties used as qualifying long-term rentals are exempt from the tax (defined as six months of the year in increments of 30-plus days).
  • The speculation tax applies only in BC’s largest urban centres: Metro Vancouver, the Capital Regional District (excluding the Gulf Islands and Juan de Fuca), Kelowna and West Kelowna, Nanaimo-Lantzville, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission.

Map of affected areas

Who pays the speculation tax

  • Foreign speculators and satellite families (households with high worldwide income that pay little income tax in BC): they will pay the tax because they are not eligible for a primary residence exemption. But they can avoid the tax by renting their property for at least six months of the year.
  • Canadians or permanent residents who live in BC: they will pay the tax on homes they own but leave empty within the designated urban areas – Metro Vancouver, the Capital Regional District (excluding the Gulf Islands and Juan de Fuca), Kelowna and West Kelowna, Nanaimo-Lantzville, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission.
  • Canadians or permanent residents who live outside BC: if the home they own in the designated urban areas is not their primary residence or not rented out for at least six months of the year, they will pay the tax.
  • Note: Both foreigners and out-of-province Canadians who will pay the tax will be able to receive a tax credit if they report income in BC.

Who doesn’t pay the tax

An estimated 99% of British Columbians won’t pay this tax. These are people who:

  • Own one home and live in it.
  • Are renters.
  • Own a second home and rent it out for at least six months of the year.
  • Own a home that is vacant but outside the designated urban areas – Metro Vancouver, the Capital Regional District (excluding the Gulf Islands and Juan de Fuca), Kelowna and West Kelowna, Nanaimo-Lantzville, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission.
  • Own a home that is vacant and inside the designated urban areas, but is valued below $400,000.
  • There are also special exemptions if the owner: is undergoing medical care or residing in a hospital, long-term care or supportive care facility; is temporarily absent for work purposes; is deceased and the estate is being administered.

For Canadians & permanent residents living in BC

Does BC’s new speculation tax apply to you?

What is the speculation tax?

BC’s new speculation tax is designed to help make housing in overheated markets more affordable and available. With it, we’re telling speculators to free up homes they’re keeping vacant so they can be used by British Columbians desperate for housing.

Our approach means 99% of British Columbians – even if they own vacation homes – will not have to pay this tax.

Start here

Do you own at least one home in BC?

No? Stop here. Pay no tax.

Yes? Continue.

Do you own one or more homes in the urban centres of Vancouver, the Capital Regional District (excluding the Gulf Islands and Juan de Fuca), Kelowna and West Kelowna, Nanaimo, Lantzville, Abbotsford, Chilliwack or Mission?

No? Stop here. Pay no tax.

Yes? Continue.

Are any of these homes left vacant? (“Vacant” is defined as either: not your primary residence; or, not rented out for at least six months of the year in periods of 30 days or longer; for 2018, it must be for at least three months)

No? Stop here. Pay no tax.

Yes? Continue.

The $400,000 exemption

Here’s where it gets tricky. Please read both statements.

I only own one empty home and its value is $400,000 or higher

Or

I have 2 or more empty homes

If you answered No to both, stop here. Pay no tax.

If you answered yes to either, continue

Are you exempt due to special circumstances? (The owner: is undergoing medical care or residing in a hospital, long-term care or supportive care facility; is temporarily absent for work purposes; is deceased and the estate is being administered.)

Yes? Stop here. Pay no tax.

No? Continue.

Here’s how the tax affects you.

For British Columbians

The tax will apply on homes they own but remain vacant within the designated urban areas – Metro Vancouver, the Capital Regional District (excluding the Gulf Islands and Juan de Fuca), Kelowna and West Kelowna, Nanaimo, Lantzville, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission.

Tax Rate: 0.5% of property value

Foreigners & Satellite Families

The tax rates for Foreign Speculators & Satellite Families is 2%

Canadians or Permanent Residents Who Live Outside BC

The tax rates for Canadians in other provinces is 1%

99% of British Columbians will not pay this tax

Download the Infographic PDF