B.C. Gives Transfer Tax Relief to Foreign Homebuyers | KPMG | CA

B.C. Gives Transfer Tax Relief to Foreign Homebuyers

B.C. Gives Transfer Tax Relief to Foreign Homebuyers

British Columbia has announced new relief from the foreign buyer property transfer tax.

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According to the province's official website, B.C. now offers an exemption, retroactive refund and rebate to certain foreign nationals. Effective March 17, 2017, foreign nationals who came to British Columbia as workers under the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program will be exempt from the 15% additional property transfer tax. The B.C. Provincial Nominee Program helps certain foreign workers and entrepreneurs achieve permanent residency in the province. In light of this announcement, eligible foreign nationals who paid the tax between August 2, 2016 and March 17, 2017 will qualify for a refund.

The province has also introduced a rebate of the foreign buyer additional property transfer tax for foreign nationals who became permanent residents or Canadian citizens within one year of purchasing a principal residence.

The 15% additional property transfer tax must be paid by foreign entities who purchased a residential property located in the Greater Vancouver Regional District on or after August 2, 2016 (excluding the Tsawwassen First Nation lands). The 15% tax is in addition to the general property transfer tax.

Who qualifies for the exemption?
This exemption is only available to foreign nationals-individuals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents, including stateless persons. To qualify for this exemption, the foreign national must:

  • Be a confirmed B.C. provincial nominee before the property transfer is registered with the Land Title Office 
  • Use the property as their principal residence 
  • File the additional property transfer tax return to claim the exemption.

The individual may claim the exemption one time only.

The 15% additional property transfer tax still applies to foreign entities who are foreign corporations and certain taxable trustees.

Applying for retroactive refund
Foreign nationals who paid the additional property transfer tax between August 2, 2016 and March 17, 2017 may apply for a refund of the tax within 18 months from the date the property transfer was registered. To receive the refund, they must have been confirmed under the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program (or held a nomination certificate) on the date the property transfer was registered with the Land Title Office.

Rebate for new immigrants
Foreign nationals who became permanent residents or Canadian citizens within one year of the date the property transfer was registered with the Land Title Office may apply for a refund of the 15% additional property transfer tax if they:

  • Moved into the home within 92 days of the date the property transfer was registered 
  • Used the home as their principal residence and resided continuously in the property for one full year after the property transfer was registered 
  • Apply for the refund after the first anniversary of the date the property transfer was registered but within 18 months of the registration date.

For more information, contact your KPMG adviser.

Information is current to April 18, 2017. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour 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 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 KPMG's National Tax Centre at 416.777.8500

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