How to Apply for the BC Speculation & Vacancy Tax Exemption

What is the BC Speculation & Vacancy Tax?

The BC Speculation & Vacancy Tax was implemented by the Provencal Government to help tackle the hot housing markets in major urban centres (see list below). The new annual tax, which targets foreign and domestic speculators who own property in BC but do not pay taxes here, will raise revenue for affordable housing and turn vacant homes into housing options for residents.

What Regions are Affected?

All homeowners in the specified taxable regions below must apply for the BC Speculation & Vacancy Tax Exemption before March 31, 2019 or you will be charged the tax. The province estimates that 99% of British Columbians will qualify for the exemption.

  • The City of Abbotsford
  • The District of Mission
  • The City of Chilliwack
  • The City of Kelowna 
  • The City of West Kelowna
  • The City of Nanaimo
  • The District of Lantzville
  • Municipalities within the Capital Regional District. (Excluding: Salt Spring Island, Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, and the Southern Gulf Islands)
  • Municipalities within the Metro Vancouver Regional District (Excluding: Bowen Island, the Village of Lions Bay and Electoral Area A, but including UBC and the University Endowment Lands)

When will Declaration Letters be Mailed?

Declarations letters will be mailed to all BC homeowners mid-February. To claim the exemption you must register online, prior to the March 31, 2019 deadline. This will be easy to do online or by phone. If you have not received your deceleration card by the end of February please call Toll Free: 1 (833) 554-2323.

It is important to note that all owners (each person listed on title) must apply for the exemption, even if they are your spouse. 

Will I be Exempt from the New Spec Tax?

The following exemptions are available for individuals:

  1. Principal residence exemptions
  2. Occupied by a tenant
  3. Can’t live in the residence because it’s uninhabitable
  4. Secondary residence close to medical treatment facility
  5. Just bought or inherited the property (same year)
  6. Separation or divorce
  7. Bankruptcy
  8. Recent death of owner
  9. Property is in a trust created by a will for a minor
  10. Property has rental restrictions
  11. Property is a strata hotel
  12. Property includes a licenced child daycare
  13. No residence on the property
  14. Other exclusions from the tax

    Click here for detailed information about who will be exempt from the BC Speculation & Vacancy Tax.

Still Have Questions?

If you still have questions about the new BC Speculation & Vacancy Tax you are not alone. There is lots of great information on the Government of British Columbia website.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

~ Jared Franczak
Royal LePage Kelowna