WITH less than a month to go until Empty Homes Tax declarations are due, the City of Vancouver is reminding all owners of residential property in Vancouver that they are required to submit a declaration by February 2 to ensure they do not face unnecessary fines and penalties.
To date, approximately 103,000 Vancouver property owners have submitted their declarations – 55 per cent of all property owners who are required to declare.
The City also initiated Empty Homes Tax audits last week. The audit program utilizes best practices, including a risk based approach as well as random audits, and is designed to ensure compliance with the Empty Homes Tax program. Audit notifications have been sent requesting that property owners provide information or evidence to support a property status declaration.
“In the midst of this affordable housing crisis, Vancouver housing must be for homes first and investments second,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “With the Empty Homes Tax, we are encouraging the best use of all our housing and working to boost rental supply for people who live and work in Vancouver. With 45 per cent of property owners still required to declare by February 2, we are urging all property owners to submit their declarations as soon as possible.”
The majority of Vancouver property owners who have submitted declarations have completed the process online with 93 per cent of declarations submitted at vancouver.ca/eht-declare. Declarations submitted over the phone by calling 3-1-1 have accounted for approximately 4 per cent of declarations and 3 per cent have been submitted in person at City Hall.
The City will be issuing reminder notices this week to property owners who have not yet submitted a declaration. Those who fail to declare by February 2 will have their properties deemed vacant and will be subject to the Empty Homes Tax at a rate of 1 per cent of the property’s assessed taxable value, as well as a $250 penalty.
To assist homeowners with making their declarations, City Hall will be extending opening hours on Thursdays and Saturdays in the weeks before the declaration due date. Property owners may visit City Hall during opening hours, and extended hours, to receive assistance from staff to make their declarations.
Extended hours at City Hall:
Thursday, January 11: 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday, January 13: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Thursday, January 18: 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday, January 20: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Thursday, January, 25: 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday, January 27: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Thursday, February 1: 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
The City is also offering a number of information sessions at select community centres where residents can receive assistance with submitting their declarations. These sessions have limited seats and must be reserved online at recreation.vancouver.ca
Empty Homes Tax information sessions:
Tuesday, January 9, 11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre
181 Roundhouse Mews
Wednesday, January 10, 1-2:30 p.m.
False Creek Community Centre
1318 Cartwright Street
Thursday, January 11, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Kerrisdale Community Centre
5851 West Boulevard
Friday, January 12, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Strathcona Community Centre
601 Keefer Street
Monday, January 15, 1-3 p.m.
Renfrew Park Community Centre
2929 E 22nd Avenue
Wednesday, January 17, 1:30-3 p.m.
Douglas Park Community Centre
801 W 22nd Avenue
Wednesday, January 17, 2:30-4 p.m.
Kitsilano Community Centre
2690 Larch Street
Thursday, January 18, 1-2 p.m.
Sunset Community Centre
6810 Main Street
Friday, January 19, 12:45-2:15 p.m.
Trout Lake Community Centre
3360 Victoria Drive
For more information on the Empty Homes Tax, visit vancouver.ca/eht