What's the difference between Property Tax and Property Transfer Tax?
Property tax is payed annually by the homeowner. It consists of municipal and provincial part, so the exact rate is different for each municipality. The tax is based on unified BC value assessment of your property Property Transfer Tax is paid only once by purchaser after gaining property by purchase or by other means. The rate for the whole BC is unified and it's used fair market value (usually the purchasing price). See our BC Property Transfer Tax Calculator and FAQ for more information!
What is property assessment?
BC assessment is determination of a property's market value, done by BC Assessment (BCA), a provincial Crown corporation. It runs regularly each July 1. It covers almost 2 million properties in BC and results in around $6.2 billion in taxes for the province and municipalities.
What do I need to do to get the assessment?
Nothinb. BCA sends Property Assessment Notice in early January. Your local tax authorities then send you tax notice.
How does it work?
BCA has a staff of professional appraisers, who determine the market value of your home. This is based on number of market characteristics (local real estate sales, new zoning, building permits) and characteristics of your home. Market value can hike, but also slope, depending on the recent market situation and potential upgrades to your property. In exceptional cases, property inspection may be done by an appraiser in persona. You don't need to be worried it will rise the assessment value automatically. In some cases the inspection can discover excessive deterioration and lower the value.
What are the property classes?
There are nine different classes, you can see them here. Most of you will be interested in residential class rates. It includes single-familyhouses, duplexes, nursing homes, seasonal dwellings, manufactured homes, apartments, condominiums, recreational property, even some vacant land and farm buildings
Can I see my assessment online? Can I see assessment of any house?
There is a service e-valueBC. Everybody can see value of any property. Homeowners (identified by unique PIN) can see additional details. From 01 January – 15 March, you can use 'compare' function, which will show you similar properties to yours. You can evaluate the fairness of your assessment.
My assessment wasn't fair! No way my property is so expensive - can I appeal?
Yes. You can appeal the assessment, not the resulting taxes. If you believe the assessed value does not reflect your home value, talk to your local BC Assessment office. In the next step, you can request an independent review before a Property Assessment Review Panel (PARP). A written notice of complaint must be delivered in writing to your local BC Assessment office no later than January 31. Be prepared to support your appeal with evidence (photos and prices of similar residences). As a final step, you an appeal to the Property Assessment Appeal Board.
I have moved. Do I have to inform BCA?
Yes, it is important. Inform your local office. If you forget and do not receive proper assessment notice, complete the change of address form at Address Change Form.
The tax seems too high to me. Is there anything I can do about it?
BC offers selection of supporting programs. You can try following options:
Home Owner Grant can be claimed on principal residence on BC before you receive the tax notice (before December 31). More eligibility criteria are required for the non-basic grants .
- Basic - up to $570
- Additional - additional $275 for elderly, disabled, and veterans
- Retroactive - applied to the previous year
- Multiple - on apartment buildings, co-operatives, and housing society buildings
Property Tax Deferment: low-interest loan program to assist you with tax payments.
- Families with Children
- Financial Hardship
- 55 & older, surviving spouse, Person with a Disability
When is the tax billed?
The City of Vancouver has two billings: the Advance Bill is due on the 2nd business day in February and the Final Bill is due on the 2nd business day of July.
How do I submit the payment?
In person or by mail - to your local revenue services office, into drop boxes in your city hall, at your financial institution (don't forget tobring the home owner grant portion of your tax notice with you) and finally by phone and internet banking.
What are the penalties for omitting taxes?
You will be fined with 5% penalty. If your outstanding balance is transferred to the next year, interest rate (6.75% in 2011) is charged.
Can I pay in monthly instalments?
Yes, it is called Tax Instalment Pre-Payment Plan. It automatically deducts the property taxes owing from your bank account every month.