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With the newly formed foreign Property Tax Transfer (PTT) in 2016, and now the recently implemented tax exemption policy coming into place as of March, 2017, it can be difficult for foreign buyers to keep track of what needs to be paid and where they can go to find rebates, refunds or programs that make them exempt from additional taxes. Which is why I wanted to help individuals in ‘Understanding the Empty Homes Tax’.

What is the Purpose of the Empty Homes Tax?

Because it was recognized that Metro Vancouver had a lot of properties that are left empty, while there is a subsequent shortage of homes available – both for rent as well as for purchase, an ‘empty homes tax’ has been implemented.

Essentially this tax is intended to dissuade homeowners from leaving their properties unoccupied, and instead, offer them for rent. In fact, these under-utilized properties are somewhat expected to be offered as long-term rental homes in order to assist in the shortage of rentals in Vancouver, and provide those living and working in the Vancouver area additional rental options.

Overall, Vancouver is known to have the lowest rental vacancies in Canada, and along with that – one of the highest rental costs in Canada too. So by taxing those homeowners who are not offering their unoccupied homes for rent, the goal is to motivate these homeowners to put their property on the rental market and cushion the effects locals feel foreign buyers create.

Understanding if You Fall Into the Empty Homes Tax

Although the following questionnaire link is intended to simply supply you with a better understanding of the answer to whether you fall into the Empty Homes Tax, it is still a helpful start in offering advice in order to determine if your property is subject to this tax, and can be found here -> Vacancy Tax Bylaw

Additional information can be also found in the links below…

http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/why-an-empty-homes-tax.aspx

http://bylaws.vancouver.ca/consolidated/11674.PDF