Mayors join finance minister to discuss, share feedback on landmark tax

Speculation and vacancy tax creating homes in more communities

May 26, 2023 at 11:57 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Approximately 1.7 million declarations will be completed as part of the 2024 SVT declaration period that will begin in January 2024.

Areas benefiting from the SVT:

The following communities have been included in the SVT since 2018:

  • Municipalities in the Capital Regional District
  • Municipalities in the Metro Vancouver Regional District (except Lions Bay)
  • City of Abbotsford
  • District of Mission
  • City of Chilliwack
  • City of Kelowna
  • City of West Kelowna
  • City of Nanaimo
  • District of Lantzville

Starting in the 2023 tax year, residential properties in communities below will be subject to the SVT. Residential property owners in these areas will begin their declaration in early 2024:

  • North Cowichan
  • Duncan
  • Ladysmith
  • Lake Cowichan
  • Lions Bay
  • Squamish

Who will need to declare:

Residential property owners on title will need to declare. That includes all family members on title, such as spouses. For example, if a parent and an adult child are on a single title, both will have to complete a declaration, even if the adult child isn’t living in the home. SVT is based on how each owner uses the residential property.

What owners need to declare:

Owners will receive a declaration letter and brochure that will explain how they can declare and claim an exemption for the SVT. As well, people will need their social insurance number and date of birth. Corporations will need information, such as their business number, incorporation number and citizenship status.

How people can declare:

Each year, more than 90% of homeowners complete their SVT declaration online through a secure application that protects people’s information upon entry. Owners who use their property as a home often declare within a few minutes.

People who do not own a computer or electronic device, or those who need additional support, can get help from a call centre agent who will help them declare over the phone.

Exemptions to the SVT:

There are exemptions for individuals and corporations for circumstances such as major home renovations and life events, divorce, hospitalization or extended absence. Since the launch of the tax, the top three exemptions claimed are: principal residence, occupied by a tenant and recently acquired or inherited. Information on exemptions is available online or with a call-centre agent.

Deceased owner on title:

If there is a deceased owner on title, a declaration will be sent in their name to the address on file with the BC Assessment Authority. That declaration will need to be completed by a representative who has the authority on the deceased owner’s behalf. Surviving family members are strongly encouraged to remove the names of deceased owners from title as soon as possible. It is important land titles are up to date for the administration of taxes.

Keeping titles up to date:

B.C.’s land title system requires owners keep all titles up to date. Land titles are used by regulatory and legal authorities to verify ownership. This allows people to securely complete transactions, such as land sales, as quickly as possible. They can also be used for tax administration.

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