As of August 2nd, 2016, the BC government put into law an additional tax on foreign buyers in the Greater Vancouver Regional District. Once a property is registered at the Land Title Office, the tax applies with no exceptions and strict non-compliance penalties. The tax’s sudden introduction with seeming little-to-no consultation from real estate professionals in the Vancouver market left a lot of people in uncertain waters over the August long weekend.

What Is The Foreign Buyers Tax?

The 15% Property Transfer Tax applies to all residential property transfers to foreign entities. It is important to note that this is in addition to the general property transfer tax that is already in place. Failure to pay or providing incorrect information to avoid the tax can result in up to $100,000 in fines or two years in prison.

Who’s Affected?

Foreign entity transferees including: foreign nationals, foreign corporations, and taxable trustees. This additional tax is applicable on the foreign entity’s proportionate share of any residential property transfer, and on transactions that were previously exempt from property transfer taxes such as a transfer between related individuals.

However, the new tax does not apply to mutual fund trusts, real estate investment trusts, or specified investment flow-through trusts.

For further information on filing, paying, and avoidance penalties, see the Ministry of Finance’s Tax Information Sheet.

What Does The REBGV Have To Say?

President Dan Morrison of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver states, “We must ensure we’re doing what we can to help our clients understand and comply with the new tax.” For a more in-depth look at the REBGV’s stance, see their official statement.

If you have any questions regarding the new tax or its impact on the selling or purchase of your home, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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