Ninety-seven per cent of Vancouver property owners can pat themselves on the back for making their Empty Homes Tax declaration by the Feb. 4 deadline.
As for the remaining three per cent — or 4,979 property owners — they can make a late declaration, says the city.
In a press release, the city reminds residents that those who do not declare will have their properties deemed vacant by the city, and be subject to the tax at a rate of one per cent of the property’s 2018 assessed taxable value. They will also be charged a $250 bylaw fine.
This year ― the second year of Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax ― the city is making late declarations available. Once the property owner pays the $250 late fee (or disputes the ticket), they can make their online declaration. Bylaw tickets can be paid at vancouver.ca/pay-ticket.
Once a late declaration of occupied or exempt has been submitted, the tax bill will be cancelled.
How to submit a late declaration for Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax:
One declaration per property is required. You can declare in a number of ways, including:
Online at vancouver.ca/eht-declare. The online declaration process is simple and takes most people only a few minutes to complete. Online chat with an EHT representative is available.
In person at City Hall. Residential property owners may visit City Hall where staff will be available to assist them with online declarations. City Hall regular hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Over the phone by calling 3-1-1. Residential property owners who need assistance making their online declaration can call 3-1-1 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily (outside Vancouver: 604-873-7000) and speak to a citizen service representative. Translation services are also available at 3-1-1.
Payment of the Empty Homes Tax levy is due by April 12, 2019 or an additional five per cent penalty will be applied. If payment is not made by Dec.31, 2019, the amount will be added to your property tax bill.
The City of Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax is separate from the provincial government’s Speculation and Vacancy Tax; inquiries regarding the province’s tax may be directed to gov.bc.ca/spectax or by calling 1-833-554-2323.