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BC Speculation & Vacancy Tax

How to fill in the declaration form. Who is exempt? What’s the point???

It’s here. You can’t avoid it. If you don’t make a declaration you will be charged the full tax amount (you have 6 years to get a rebate if you are taxed and qualified for an exemption).

How to make your Speculation Tax exemption declaration:
We discuss this on our podcast and we fill in the declaration live on the show. Click the player below to listen, or watch the video.

PODCAST: Subscribe on all major platforms – Multiple Offers: A Real Estate Show
Jump to 8:48 for a walk-through of the declaration.


The form is pretty easy as an owner occupier. Go to gov.bc.ca/spectax. It should take only a few minutes and you don’t need a wealth of personal information to complete it.
You will need to provide:

  1. Declaration Code (provided on letter sent from BC Gov)
  2. Letter ID (provided on letter sent from BC Gov)
  3. Property address
  4. Your Social Insurance Number
  5. And you MUST provide a phone number and email address

How much is the BC Speculation and Vacancy Tax?
The rate is 0.5% in 2018. In 2019 it goes up to 2% for foreigners and satellite families.
Details here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/speculation-and-vacancy-tax/tax-rates

Do you own a condo that is vacant more than 6 months of the year?
What are your options?

  1. Pay the tax
  2. Get a tenant
    What if strata bylaws prohibit rentals? You have until 2020 to get a tenant or you will not qualify for an exemption gov.bc.ca/rental-restrictions
  3. Sell your Condo

Episode 38 – Why are my property taxes so high? Property tax, assessments and appeals explained


Check out our latest podcast for a closer look at how property assessments and property taxes are determined.

Your property taxes don’t always go up when your assessed value goes up. We get insight and in depth break down from our special guest, New West City Councilor, Patrick Johnstone.

Get even more detail from Pat’s blog:  patrickjohnstone.ca

Should you appeal your assessment? You want to look to see if your increase was really far out of line with the average for your area. You can start with a chat with an appraiser at the Assessment office (info.bcassessment.ca/contact-us/Greater-Vancouver-Region).

BC Assessment Appeals: info.bcassessment.ca/Services-products/appeals

11:20 – Your Assessed Value: Where did that number come from?

16:02 – Your Property Taxes: How do they relate to your assessed value?

25:17 – Comparing Municipalities: How to compare which is higher. You can have a lower valued home than a home in another municipality and pay higher taxes. It depends where your him sits on its local hierarchy.

36:40 – Breaking down the numbers: City tax, School tax, Translink tax, and other line items communities can add in.

48:00 – Canada Games Pool: Why this is a stand alone item on your taxes?

53:22 – Question of the Week: My assessed value went up 80%! Should I appeal?

Episode 37 – 2018: A Stats Odyssey…did we hit bottom?

We review the dramatic swings of 2018 to help remind of us what might be ahead of us in 2019. What we noticed is that houses had their drama in 2017. Condos had theirs in 2018. The year started aggressively and closed with big drops in prices and volume.

7:10 – News: 2018 Sales lowest in 18 years https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/metro-vancouver-2018-home-sales-lowest-in-eight-years-rebgv

13:05 – 2018 Year in Review

50:17 – Story Time…when you’re chasing a downward market

Podcast: Strata 101 and 102

Helping our clients understand strata is not difficult to explain. The challenge is that there is a lot of content and it takes time to get through it all.

The New West Guys, Matt Brabbins and Jeremy Rae, co-host a two part podcast series to explain how a strata corporation functions, what you should be looking for, what to ask your agent, what documents you will receive and how to interpret all the strata documents including: meeting minutes, the Form B, depreciation reports and engineer’s reports.

Listen using the player below or subscribe on your favourite podcast platform. Search for “Multiple Offers – A Real Estate Show”.

STRATA 101 explains how a strata functions.


Episode 1 – How a Strata Corporation Functions

STRATA 102 explains the strata documents available to review and how to find signs of trouble.

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