Declarations confirm more than 99% of British Columbians will not pay speculation and vacancy tax

NEARLY all speculation and vacancy tax (SVT) declarations are complete and the tax is capturing speculators who own homes in B.C. but do not pay tax here, the Province announced on Fiday.

Based on declarations received so far, more than 99% of British Columbians will not pay the speculation and vacancy tax. To date, foreign owners, satellite families and Canadians living outside of B.C. make up more than 80% of those paying the tax.

All owners on title – including spouses, family members or individuals who own part of an estate property – must complete separate declarations. There is still time for owners to complete their declaration and claim an exemption without penalty.

Owners who do not complete a declaration will receive a tax notice of assessment before the end of May reminding them of their requirement to complete a declaration. A declaration must be completed to claim an exemption or to determine eligibility for a tax credit. If owners are not exempt, they must pay their assessed amount by July 2, 2019.

The easiest and quickest way to complete a declaration is online: gov.bc.ca/spectax

If people have questions or require assistance to complete their declaration over the phone, the call centre can be reached at 833 554-2323 (toll-free Canada/U.S.) or 604 660-2421 (international), Monday to Friday. Service is available in multiple languages.

The speculation and vacancy tax is a key part of the B.C. government’s 30-point plan to restore housing affordability in B.C. by:

* targeting foreign and domestic speculators who own homes in B.C. but do not pay tax here;

* turning empty homes into housing; and

* raising revenue to support affordable housing in communities where the tax applies.

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