Letters from the Ministry of Finance, including declaration codes, are being mailed to every residential address in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, informing home, condo and townhouse owners that they have until March 31 to claim an exemption from the new speculation and vacancy tax.
Any homeowner who doesn’t declare an exemption will pay a tax of either 0.5 per cent of their property’s assessed value, if they’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or two per cent if they’re foreign owners.
However, if your home is your principal residence where you live most of the year, and you’re a citizen or permanent resident, you’re exempt from paying the tax.
If the home or condo is rented out at least six months of the year, it also can be exempt. The province also tries to address a raft of other scenarios on its site.
If your home is in both spouses’ names, both you and your spouse have to apply.