Blog

Speculation Tax – Will You Have To Pay??

What is the speculation and vacancy tax?

The speculation and vacancy tax is an annual tax paid by some owners of residential properties in designated taxable regions of B.C.

The tax is designed to discourage housing speculation and people from leaving homes vacant in B.C.’s major urban centres. More than 99% of British Columbians are expected to be exempt from the tax.

All residential property owners in the taxable regions must complete a declaration, even if they’re eligible for an exemption.

Note: The speculation and vacancy tax is distinct from the empty homes tax in the City of Vancouver.

Where does the speculation and vacancy tax apply?

Your residential property might be taxable if it’s located in one of these geographic areas:

Reserve lands, treaty lands and lands of self-governing Indigenous Nations are not part of the taxable regions.

Islands that are accessible only by air or water are not part of the taxable regions.

Some residential properties are excluded from the speculation and vacancy tax, even though they are located within a taxable region. These include residential properties owned by:

  • An Indigenous Nation
  • Municipalities, regional districts, governments and other public bodies
  • Registered charities
  • Housing co-ops
  • Certain not-for-profit organizations

If you’re not sure if your residential property is in a taxable region, contact us to find out:

Toll Free: 1 (833) 554-2323
Outside North America: 1 (604) 660-2421
Email: spectaxinfo@gov.bc.ca

How much is the speculation and vacancy tax if my residential property isn’t exempt?

For properties owned on December 31, 2018, the tax rate is the same for everyone: 0.5% of the assessed value of your residential property on July 1, 2018, as determined by BC Assessment. B.C. owners are eligible for a tax credit of up to $2,000 on secondary properties to offset their tax payable. The credit is limited to $2,000 per owner and $2,000 per property (in the case of multiple owners) per year.

For 2019 and onwards, the speculation and vacancy tax rate will vary, depending on your residency and where you pay income tax:

  • 2% for foreign owners and satellite families
  • 0.5% for British Columbians and other Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are not members of a satellite family

The speculation and vacancy tax applies based on ownership as of December 31 each year.

A satellite family is an individual or spousal unit where the majority of their total worldwide income for the year is not reported on a Canadian tax return.

If a residential property has multiple owners, tax is divided among each owner based on their ownership share. For example, if you and your spouse are equal owners of a residential property in a taxable region, you’ll each owe tax on 50% of the home’s assessed value.

A corporation, trustee or partner will pay tax at the highest rate that would be applicable to any of the corporate interest holders, beneficial owners or partnership interest holders if they held the residential property individually.

What Are the Exemptions to the Speculation and Vacancy Tax?

If my home is in a designated taxable region, will I have to pay the speculation and vacancy tax?

For 2018, most British Columbians will be exempt if they either live in their home as their principal residence or rent out their property for at least three months of the year. Short-term rentals for periods of less than one month do not count towards the three-month total.

For 2019 and onwards, over 99% of  British Columbians will continue to be exempt. A home that is not a principal residence must be rented for at least six months per year to be exempt from the speculation and vacancy tax. Short-term rentals for periods of less than one month do not count towards the six-month total.

What other exemptions could I be eligible for?

You may be eligible for other exemptions, even if your residential property isn’t your principal residence and you don’t rent it out for the minimum number of months per year.

If you’re not exempt, you’ll receive a tax notice with the amount you owe.

Review the full list of exemptions and exclusions.

What if I am the co-owner of a taxable residential property?

Exemptions are based on how each person uses each residential property. If you’re the co-owner of a residential property in a taxable region and are exempt, but the other owner isn’t exempt, the other owner will have to pay tax based on their percentage ownership of the residential property as listed with the Land Title Office.

What if the owner is a corporation, trustee or partner?

Many of the exemptions available to individuals are also available to corporations, trustees or partners that own residential property.

How do the tax credits work?

If you’re not eligible for an exemption, you may qualify for a tax credit.

B.C. owners – B.C. owners are eligible for a tax credit of up to $2,000 on a secondary property. This means an owner of a home assessed at up to $400,000, who would otherwise pay the tax, will be exempt, since the value of the tax credit is equal to or more than the amount they would owe. This also means an owner of a home assessed at above $400,000 will only pay tax on the amount over $400,000 (for example, for a $500,000 property, the owner will only pay tax on $100,000). The credit is limited to $2,000 per owner and $2,000 per property (in the case of multiple owners) per year. The tax credit cannot be carried forward or transferred to a spouse.

Foreign owners and satellite families – Foreign owners and satellite families can claim a tax credit equal to 20% of their B.C. income to reduce the 2% speculation and vacancy tax owing. The tax credit cannot reduce the tax rate below the rate for an equivalent B.C. resident (zero on a principal residence or 0.5% on other properties). Unused B.C. income may be carried forward for up to two years or transferred to a spouse. The tax credits are pro-rated in 2018, when the tax rate is 0.5% for all owners.

Other Canadians – Non-B.C. resident Canadians will be eligible for a tax credit based on that income claimed in B.C. The tax credit cannot reduce the tax rate below the tax rate for an equivalent B.C. resident. Unused tax credits may be carried forward for up to two years or transferred to a spouse. The tax credits are pro-rated in 2018, when the tax rate is 0.5% for all owners.

How Do I Complete My Declaration for the Speculation and Vacancy Tax?

What is a declaration for the speculation and vacancy tax?

All residential property owners in a designated taxable region have to complete an annual declaration to claim any relevant exemptions.

If you own residential property in a designated taxable region, the Province will send you a speculation and vacancy tax declaration letter telling you how to complete your declaration. The letter will list all the residential properties you own.

Does everyone have to complete a declaration?

If you don’t own residential property in a designated taxable region, you don’t need to complete a declaration because the tax doesn’t apply to you.

If you own residential property in a designated taxable region, you will need to complete a declaration. Even if you won’t be required to pay the tax, you need to complete a declaration to claim any relevant exemptions.

How Do I Pay the Speculation and Vacancy Tax?

When do I have to pay my speculation and vacancy tax?

If you owe speculation and vacancy tax, your payment is due by July 2, 2019.

What methods of payment can I use?

You will be able use our online payment system or you can also pay through your financial institution, by cheque, or in person at a Service BC centre.

What happens if I don’t pay all or part of what I owe?

If you are charged the speculation and vacancy tax but don’t pay what you owe, you may be charged a penalty and interest in addition to the amount of tax you owe.

What happens if I pay the speculation and vacancy tax, then find out later I’m exempt? Can I get a refund?

Yes. You’ll be able to receive a refund if you paid the speculation and vacancy tax but learn later that you’re exempt. You will need to contact us to request the refund or the credit will be applied to your next year’s speculation and vacancy tax.

 

Information courtesy of the Government of BC

Family Day 2019

Enjoy Free Activities with Your Family in Surrey

Celebrate Family Day with free, fun activities for the entire family! We’ve compiled a list of events happening at our recreation facilities so you don’t have to worry about any planning. Swing by one of the events below and make memories with your loved ones.

Please note: all events listed are on Monday February 18, 2019. 

Family Fun Day

Enjoy time with your family at one of free Family Day activities. Whether you want to bring the kids for arts and crafts, or drop in for sports, there’s lots going on. Visit one of the following facilities during their drop in times!

Family Day Stay & Play

Fraser Heights Recreation Centre at 9:30am to 11am
Bring your friends and family and join us for a free literary themed Stay & Play.

Family Day at The Nature Centre

Surrey Nature Centre at 10am to 2pm
Join us for nature walks, story times and a variety of indoor and outdoor nature activities.

Family Day at Historic Stewart Farm

Historic Stewart Farm at 12pm to 3pm
Celebrate Family Day by participating in special activities, heritage demonstrations and sample baking from the woodstove.

Family Day at Museum of Surrey

Museum of Surrey at 1pm to 4pm
What did families do for fun before TVs and video games? Board games! Spend quality time with your loved ones just like families would have done 100 years ago.

Free Family Day Skates over Family Day Weekend

We are hosting offering free Hawaiian-themed skates at arenas in Surrey! These skates will also include free helmet and skate rentals over Family Day Weekend.

Holiday Events Near You!

In Langley


On December 1st head to downtown Langley for the Magic of Christmas celebration and parade. Before the parade, head over to McBurney Plaza and enjoy children’s crafts, live entertainment, and professional ice carving. Sit back and enjoy the parade from 6 pm to 7 pm on Fraser Highway between 203 and 207 street and then finish off your magical evening with more entertainment and their spectacular Christmas tree lighting in McBurney Plaza!


On November 17th, 24th, December 1st & 8th, check out the Murrayville Holiday market with over 50 vendors in attendance! Admission is free, head down to Murrayville Hall – 21667 48 Avenue.

In Surrey


There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than a skate with Santa! Visit your local arena this winter and have your photo taken with the jolly fellow himself. Check out the City of Surrey website to find a location near you. Regular drop-in admission applies.


Breakfast with Santa – Take your picture with Santa and join him for breakfast and a variety of Christmas themed activities! Breakfast, crafts, and games are included in the price. Each person must register individually as a child or an adult. Head over to the city of Surrey website to find a location near you!


On November 24th, head down to Surrey’s civic plaza and atrium to enjoy the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival, the 60-foot tree is one of the tallest Christmas trees in Canada! The expanded holiday market will return to offer locally-made goods. The holiday fun zone on University Drive will feature amusement rides, road hockey, soccer, inflatables, and a DJ.


Between December 8th – 16th at City Central Shopping Centre, check out the Gingerbread village with submissions from elementary schools to professional bakers. You can vote for your favorite by giving a donation with all proceeds going to the Surrey Christmas Bureau to help support low-income families during the holidays.

Check out these free, fun family events happening in Surrey next month

Family Nights in Surrey

  • November 9th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at Don Christian Recreation Center. Stop by for hot cocoa, winter crafts and activities!
  • November 16th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at Cloverdale Recreation Center. Drop in for board games and activities for the whole family!
  • November 22nd from 6:00pm to 7:30pm at South Surrey Recreation Center. Drop in for fun activities including crafts, games, snacks and more.
  • November 23rd from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Clayton Hall. Bring your pillows and blankets and join other families for a movie night!

Check out these links for more info on where to find these events,
FamilyNightCloverdale.MansourGroup.ca

FamilyNightSouth.Mansourgroup.ca

Light Festival at Bear Creek Park

  • Runs from November 4th to 10th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Admire illuminated trees, dazzling displays, and sparkling lights throughout the garden. Each night has something different to offer

For more info, go to
Lights.MansourGroup.ca

Client Appreciation Paint Night Event

Thank you to all of you who were able to join us for our Client Appreciation Paint Night Event. It was such a pleasure to host all of you at beautiful Beecher Place.

You can see all the photos of the evening as well as the artwork that was created by visiting our facebook page here.

We host events like these to honor and thank you for your support and referrals; referrals are truly our lifeblood!!

We loved having you all attend and seeing all the amazing artwork you create.

Client appreciation event “Easter Fun Day”

The Mansour Real Estate Group invites you to our upcoming client appreciation event “Easter Fun Day” on Saturday, March 31st!

This is an exclusive for our clients is our way of saying thank you for all your support and referrals. Come join us for an afternoon of family Easter fun at Bear Creek Park as we celebrate you and all you mean to us!

We will have lots of Easter treats, a craft station, potato sack races, face painting, and a train ride leading us into the forest for an Easter Egg Hunt. Our longtime friend, Easter bunny, will be making an appearance and we will have professional photographers ready to capture all of the special moments!

We are where we are because of you, so we hope you can come out and enjoy some springtime Easter Fun with us!

REGISTER HERE

A Mansour Real Estate Group Client Appreciation EASTER FUN DAY Event Details:

WHEN: Saturday, March 31, 2018
TIME: 12pm-2pm
WHERE: BEAR CREEK PARK
13750 88 Avenue at King George Blvd. SURREY, BC

Holiday Happenings – Activities in December – Surrey/Langley It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Before you start counting down for Christmas Day, enjoy the days leading up to it with Christmas events and activities happening in Surrey! Get into the holiday cheer and participate in some festive fun!

1. Winter Ice Palace  

Bring your loved ones to the 20th Annual Winter Ice Palace! Experience a winter wonderland at Cloverdale Arena and enjoy this fun, seasonal event with your friends and family.

Winter Ice Palace Schedule:
Click the link below to find a time to skate across the old fashion pond from December 22 to January 7. Open on Christmas Day and New Years Day!
http://www.surrey.ca/culture-recreation/25212.aspx

Continue reading

Events

Swim in 8 Outdoor Pools
Various Pools | Everyday in August | Various times
All City of Surrey outdoor pools are now open! Enjoy free, public swimming until September 4, 2017.

Check out the LIVE 5210 Playboxes
Various Parks | Everyday in August | Dawn to Dusk
Be active and access sports equipment and games with Live 5-2-1-0 Playboxes. Simply unlock the box, enjoy the gear, return it when you’re finished and have fun! Everyone is able to sign up for free access to the Playbox, which is accessible from dawn to dusk, or when the park is open. Please return the equipment to the Playbox after each use to allow it to be available for other users.

Friday Movie Nights in Cloverdale
Various Parks | Various dates in August | 8:00pm – 11:00pm
Outdoor movie nights in Cloverdale are back for the summer! Bring your family and join us for a free, movie night every Friday. Don’t forget your chairs, blankets and snacks! Activities start at 8pm and movies start at dusk.