City of Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax begins third year


Declarations open November 6 for February 4 deadline

THE City of Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax 2019 tax year declaration period opens Wednesday, November 6, 2019. Each year, owners must submit a property status declaration to the City―even if they live in their home.

Instructions to declare are being mailed to property owners with their Advance Property Tax Notices over the next few weeks. Only one declaration per property is required.

Declarations are due by February 4, 2020, and can be made at vancouver.ca/eht-declare.

Online Access

Property owners wishing to receive their Empty Homes Tax (EHT) notice by email or to access their account electronically can sign up for online services at vancouver.ca/tax.

In addition to giving property owners better access to their tax information, including if they are away for vacation or winter, those who sign up for online services receive these additional benefits:

* Access your files anywhere you have internet access, 24/7

* Receive paperless tax notices by email

* Get your current property tax, Empty Homes Tax (Vacancy Tax), and utility balances

* View your past bills and payment history

* Find out if you claimed your Home Owner Grant

* Track your utility consumption history

* Submit your annual property status declaration

Late EHT declarations for 2018 – now by Notice of Complaint

Residential property owners who missed making their late declaration for the 2018 tax year by October 23, 2019, must now submit a Notice of Complaint by December 31 if they wish to contest their EHT bill.

Most (99.7 per cent) of Vancouver’s property owners made their EHT declaration for 2018 by October 31 – the vast majority of those declared before the original February 4 deadline. However, there are still 523 properties missing a declaration for the 2018 tax year.

Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax was put in place to encourage more property owners to make their unoccupied properties available for rent. Homes that are declared or determined to be vacant are taxed at a rate of one per cent of the property’s assessed taxable value for that tax year. The revenue from the tax continues to be used to fund affordable housing initiatives in the city.

The City of Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax is separate from the provincial government’s Speculation and Vacancy Tax; inquiries regarding the province’s tax may be directed to gov.bc.ca/spectax or by calling 1-833-554-2323. 

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