RESIDENTIAL property owners in designated taxable regions must complete an annual declaration for the speculation and vacancy tax (SVT), the Province reminded British Columbians on Wednesday.
Out-of-province owners and those who own multiple vacant properties in B.C. have to pay the tax. All revenue helps fund affordable housing developments in the five regions where the tax applies.
Most residential property owners should receive their declaration package by the end of February. The dates jurisdictions will start receiving SVT packages can be found online: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/
All owners on title must complete the declaration. More than 99% of British Columbians are expected to be exempt from paying the tax. The declaration is easy to fill out and takes less than 10 minutes. The quickest way to complete a declaration is online at: https://gov.bc.ca/spectax
Homeowners have until March 31 to complete their declaration. If owners are not exempt, they must pay their assessed amount by July 2. Starting this year, a penalty may apply to all owners who do not pay by the due date.
If people have questions or need help completing their declaration over the phone, they can call 833 554-2323 (toll-free in Canada and the U.S.) or 604 660-2421 (international). As of January 20, call centre hours are Monday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Pacific Time). Service is available in multiple languages.
The SVT is part of Homes for BC, the province’s 10-year plan to improve housing affordability for British Columbians. The tax discourages real estate speculation that inflates home prices and turns empty housing into homes, including 18,000 condos in Metro Vancouver according to a 2021 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation report.
* For the 2020 calendar year, the SVT is anticipated to raise $81 million, bringing the three-year total of revenue generated by the tax to $231 million.
* During this same three-year period, the Province invested almost $2.8 billion in housing in the five regions covered by SVT through the 10-year, 30-point housing plan.
To learn more about the speculation and vacancy tax, visit: gov.bc.ca/spectax