Beginning in January 2017, an annual "Empty Homes Tax" will be applied annually to homes that are deemed to be empty in the city of Vancouver. Many people will not have to worry about this tax, as it will not apply to those owners who reside in their homes full-time or who have long-term renters. To see if this tax applies to you, the City of Vancouver has created a simple questionnaire:
There are many exemptions to this tax, however in some cases, owners must submit evidence to the city in order for them to be exempt. For example, if you are currently undergoing large renovations and are not living in your home, your property has been subject to rental restrictions recently, or ownership of the property has recently changed, you will need to provide specific evidence to the city promptly.
Other cases that are eligible for exemption, granted the correct information is provided, include:
- Your home is being used for a minimum of six months of the year for work purposes within the City of Vancouver, but you claim your principal residence elsewhere.
- You or your tenant is receiving long-term, in-patient medical or supportive care.
- The owner is deceased and a grant of probate or administration is pending.
- Your property is under a court order prohibiting occupancy.
- The property's use is limited to vehicle parking, or the shape, size, or other aspect of the property precludes the ability to construct a residential building.
The City of Vancouver website provides this list, along with all the necessary information to submit evidence for exemption, on their website.
If you are concerned about how this will affect you and your current property, our team at Cahill Professional Accountants will be happy to answer any questions you might have.