June 13, 2017

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Starting in 2017, a new Vancouver city tax, the Empty Homes Tax (“EHT”), may apply to your Vancouver municipal residential properties that have been unoccupied for more than six months in the calendar year. Homes that are deemed empty will be subject to a tax of 1% of the property’s assessed value. Therefore, a condominium with a value of $500,000 would result in an annual EHT of $5,000. To avoid this tax, it may be necessary to occupy vacant property by July 1, 2017.

All owners of Vancouver municipal residential property will be required to make a property status declaration for the calendar year. The declaration will determine whether the property is subject to the EHT. Evidence of your declaration should be available for potential audit.

Properties Not Subject to EHT

The following properties are exempt from EHT:

  1. Principal residence properties occupied by owners, family members or friends for at least six months of the current year.

  2. Properties rented for at least six months of the current year, as a monthly rental (meaning Airbnb does not count)

Other exemptions are available for very specific circumstances.

Secondary Personal-use Homes

Secondary homes may be subject to the tax if it is not a principal residence or rented. A secondary home may be exempt if all the following apply: 1) it was occupied by the registered owner; 2) it was occupied for a minimum of 180 days of the current year; and 3) it was occupied because the registered owner worked full-time in the city of Vancouver.

July 1, 2017 Deadline to occupy your properties to avoid the EHT.
February 2, 2018

Deadline to file declarations.

Failure to file the property status declaration automatically deems your property unoccupied and subject to the EHT. (False declarations carry fines of up to $10,000 per day of the continuing offense in addition to the payment of the EHT.)

March 14, 2018

Notice provided to owners that have properties subject to the EHT.

April 16, 2018 Deadline to pay the EHT. (A late payment penalty of 5% plus interest may apply and any unpaid balance is added to the December 31, 2018 property tax bill.)

The deadline to occupy your non-principal/unoccupied properties or land and gather appropriate evidence to support your claim is fast approaching. It is important to consider and ensure any residential properties that do not meet the exemptions are occupied before July 1, 2017. More information can be found in the Vacancy Tax Bylaws of the city of Vancouver.



Information is current as of June 14, 2017. The information provided is a general overview and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will be continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information contact your Smythe Advisor.

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