Buying a Property in Greater Vancouver? Know Your Tax Costs

  • Speculation and vacancy tax
  • Empty homes tax
  • Property taxes
  • Taxable capital gains
  • Property Transfer Tax
  • Foreign Buyers Tax
Speculation and vacancy tax
  • 2% – foreign owners, satellite families
  • 0.5% – Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents who are not part of a satellite family

Empty homes tax

The EHT is a municipal tax imposed by the City of Vancouver on residential properties in Vancouver classified as Class 1 properties. The EHT and SVT both have the same goals of addressing the current rental housing market crisis.

An annual declaration is required for each property. Unlike the SVT, only one property status declaration is required per property. The declaration is completed online and confirms the property status in order to determine whether the property is subject to the EHT. The deadline for declaration is in February.

The EHT is calculated as 1.25% of the property’s assessed taxable value in the previous tax year. The deadline for payment is in April.

Property taxes

The amount you pay is based on the funds needed to provide services for the year. Tax rates are set to determine how to share the cost of providing the services.

Tax rates and your property assessment determine how much property tax you pay.

Property owners can claim a home owner grant to reduce the total property taxes payable if they meet certain eligibility criteria. This grant must be claimed annually.

Taxable capital gains

A capital gain occurs when you sell the property for more than the total of its adjusted cost base (cost plus acquisition costs such as legal and commission fees, less any depreciation taken) and any related selling costs (e.g. legal, transfer taxes, advertising, certain repairs, commissions, etc.). For a property in B.C., 50% of the total gain is taxable.

Property Transfer Tax

When you purchase or gain an interest in property that is registered at the Land Title Office, you or your legal professional must file a property transfer tax return and you must pay property transfer tax, unless you qualify for an exemption.

Foreign Buyers Tax

If you are a foreign national or purchasing a new property with a foreign corporation or foreign trust, and the property you are purchasing is located in one of the areas listed below, you should expect an additional 20% property transfer tax on top of the property tax we have covered in the section above.

Goods and Services Tax

The British Columbia Goods and Services Tax for real estate in BC is a 5% Federal Tax that is payable at completion on the sale of brand-new properties in BC.

For a full list of exemptions and more info of the above, please refer to the government websites and obtain advice from professionals.

If you are thinking of Buying or selling a home or know someone who might be, please give me a call.

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Advisor

Teresa Chan PREC*



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