Homeowners get one-month extension on Empty Homes Tax declaration

If you’re a homeowner in Vancouver and you’ve yet to make your Empty Homes Tax declaration to the City, there’s good news – you’ve got an extra month.

The City announced that the deadline to complete the forms declaring a home’s use will now be Monday March 5, which is more than a month on from the original February 2 deadline.

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On January 29, a few days before the original deadline, the City announced that more than one in 10 Vancouver homeowners had yet to file their declarations.

For those who still fail to declare after the new deadline, the penalties are steep. Not only will the home be deemed vacant, which means the owner will be charged the annual Empty Homes Tax at one per cent of the property’s 2017 assessed value, but they will also have to pay a $250 non-declaration fine.

“Almost all Vancouverites will not be paying this tax,” Robertson said at the January 29 press conference. “They live in their homes and it doesn’t apply. But we need people to declare that on the form, just as they go through the process with their property tax.” 

The City’s chief finance officer Patrice Impey said she was not able to say how many property owners have declared their residences as being vacant, since all the declarations had not been received and the analysis wasn’t complete. However, she said the City had received all conceivable types of declarations of home use, such as principal residence, investment properties, homes that are exempt from the tax, vacant homes that are liable for the tax, and more.

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