The speculation and vacancy tax is an annual tax based on how owners use residential properties in major urban areas in B.C. All residential property owners in the designated taxable regions must complete an annual declaration for the speculation and vacancy tax.
The speculation and vacancy tax is due on the first business day in July (July 2 in 2020). However, you can pay the tax anytime after you receive a Notice of Assessment in the mail, which will show the amount of speculation and vacancy tax you owe. After you declare, a Notice of Assessment will be generated and mailed to you if you owe the tax.
For properties owned on December 31, 2018, the tax rate is the same for everyone: 0.5% of the assessed value of your residential property on July 1, 2018, as determined by BC Assessment. B.C. owners are eligible for a tax credit of up to $2,000 on secondary properties to offset their tax payable.
For 2019 and onwards, the speculation and vacancy tax rate varies, depending on your residency and where you pay income tax:
- 2% for foreign owners and satellite families
- 0.5% for British Columbians and other Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are not members of a satellite family
The speculation and vacancy tax applies based on ownership as of December 31 each year.
If a residential property has multiple owners, any owed tax is divided among each owner based on their ownership share. For example, if you and your spouse are equal owners of a residential property in a taxable region, and no exemption applies, you’ll each owe tax on 50% of the home’s assessed value.
The tax rate for a corporation, trustee or business partner will be the highest rate applicable to any of the corporate interest holders, beneficial owners or business partners if they held the residential property individually.