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Empty Homes Taxes

Empty Homes Tax

Homes that are deemed empty will be subject to a tax of 1% of the property’s assessed value.

Most homes will not be subject to the tax, as it does not apply to principal residences or homes rented on a long-term basis.

The Empty Homes Tax will come into effect in January 2017, but it will not be assessed and payable until 2018.

Net revenues from the Empty Homes Tax will be reinvested into affordable housing initiatives. 

The Empty Homes Tax due dates:

Property status declaration (for 2017): February 2, 2018

Empty Homes Tax payment: April 16, 2018

Unpaid tax added to property tax bill: December 31, 2018

Will your home be taxed?

Most properties will not be subject to the Empty Homes Tax, including those:


Enforcement and penalties 

All owners of residential property in Vancouver will be required to make a Property Status Declaration, which will determine if they are subject to the Empty Homes Tax.

Homes that are deemed to be empty as a result of the property status declaration will be subject to a tax of 1% of the property’s assessed value.

Penalties and fines

Late and unpaid Empty Homes Taxes are subject to the same remedies for non-payment as property taxes, including:

  • A late payment penalty of 5%
  • Daily interest on arrears
  • The tax sale process

Failure to make a property status declaration will result in the home being deemed empty and subject to the tax. It may also attract a penalty and we may prosecute for fines.

False declarations will result in fines of up to $10,000 per day of the continuing offense, in addition to payment of the tax.

Audit process

Property tax declarations will be subject to a rigorous audit process, in line with best practices for provincial and federal tax programs. If your property is selected for an audit, you will be asked to provide evidence in support of your declaration.

   Evidence required if the audited property is a principal residence.                                                                    
Evidence required if the audited property is rented for six months or more.

The purpose of the Empty Homes Tax is to:

  • Return empty or under-utilized properties to use as long-term rental homes for people who live and work in Vancouver
  • Help relieve pressure on Vancouver’s rental housing market by making more homes available for rent as our city is facing a rental housing crisis, with the lowest rental vacancy rate and highest rental costs in Canada

For more information and details: http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/empty-homes-tax.aspx