Half of Empty Homes Tax declarations submitted, says City of Vancouver

Vancouver property owners have until February 4 to meet deadline

THE City of Vancouver on Tuesday reminded all owners of residential property in Vancouver that they are required to submit an Empty Homes Tax declaration by February 4, 2019. As of January 7, approximately 50 per cent (94,685) of owners have submitted their declarations.

Every owner of residential property in Vancouver is required to submit a declaration each year.

On average, it only takes two minutes to complete the online declaration at vancouver.ca/eht-declare.

Homeowners who fail to declare by the due date will have their properties deemed vacant and will be subject to the Empty Homes Tax at a rate of one per cent of the property’s 2018 assessed taxable value, as well as a $250 penalty. Payment is due by April 12, 2019 or a five per cent penalty will be applied.

How to submit a declaration:

There are a number of ways that residential property owners can easily submit their Empty Homes Tax declarations, including:

  • Online at vancouver.ca/eht-declare. The online declaration process is simple and takes most people only a few minutes to complete.
  • In person at City Hall. Residential property owners may visit City Hall where staff will be available to assist them with online declarations. City Hall regular hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Over the phone by calling 3-1-1. Residential property owners can declare by calling 3-1-1 between 7 am and 10 pm daily (outside Vancouver: 604-873-7000) and speaking to a citizen service representative. Translation services are also available at 3-1-1.
  • Residential property owners can receive technical and information support for submitting their online declaration at any Vancouver Public Library location. For opening hours and locations visit vpl.ca/hours-locations.

Most properties will not be subject to the Empty Homes Tax, including in the following circumstances:

  • When a property is used as a principal residence by the owner, his / her family member or friend, or other permitted occupier for at least six months of the year,
  • The home is rented for residential purposes for at least six months of the year in periods of 30 or more consecutive days, or
  • The property meets the criteria for one of the eight exemptions.

The main objective of the Empty Homes Tax is to return empty or under-utilized properties to use as long-term rental homes for people who live and work in Vancouver. In addition, all revenue raised from the tax – after costs – is designated to fund affordable housing initiatives.

For more information or to make a declaration, visit vancouver.ca/eht.