BC Government amends foreign tax rules

Since August 2nd, 2016, foreign buyers of Greater Vancouver residential real estate have been liable to pay an additional 15% tax on the fair market value of their purchase. This in addition to the Property Transfer Tax already in place for all homebuyers.

Full details of the Foreign Buyers Tax may be found here.

This past Sunday, February 29th, while attending the Chinese New Years celebrations in Downtown Vancouver (coincidence? Maybe..) Premier Christy Clark told a scrum of reporters of the provinces plans to amend its foreign buyers tax.

In the coming days we should learn the exact details; but, for now we know the plan is to remove the tax burden on foreign buyers whom work and pay taxes within the province.

While speaking to reporters the Premier said:

“We believe the best and the brightest should be able to come to British Columbia,”

“We’re going to lift the foreign owners’ tax on people who have work permits, who are paying taxes and living in British Columbia, as a way to encourage more people to come.”

The debate surrounding this tax has been had and I will not be getting into any of that here. Forward thinking, I believe this is a prudent measure to adjust a tax that was quite clearly punitive on an unreasonable number of Greater Vancouver home buyers.

Considerations will certainly be given to how this may be exploited or what happens to those who bought already that would have been omitted under these new rules. Therefore, the burden to implement these changes in a fair and just manner will lie on the acting government.

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