Foreign buyer tax exemption coming for those with work permits
February 2017 – Government Relations
Photo source: Province of British Columbia
Foreign nationals with Canadian work permits, living and paying taxes in BC, will soon be exempt from the 15% additional Property Transfer Tax. “It’s important to send a message to foreigners who want to come from America that they are welcome if they’re going to work and pay taxes here, to buy a home here and make their life here,” said Premier Christy Clark in a surprise announcement at Vancouver’s Lunar New Year Parade on January 29, 2017. Regulations to bring in the exemption are being drafted by government. They’re expected to include whether the exemption will be retroactive and provide refunds to those who’ve already paid the tax. Regulations are expected to be included in the provincial budget slated to be released on February 21, according to BC Real Estate Association. This exemption is not yet in effect. NDP housing critic David Eby, MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey, unsuccessfully introduced amendments to the tax to exempt foreign nationals with work permits when the legislation was introduced last August. The Liberals voted down the amendments. Business organizations, including the technology sector, also lobbied the government for an exemption for foreign workers. “These are people who scraped together every cent to get into the market and are now faced with a 15 per cent tax,” Dan Morrison, president, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver told the Vancouver Sun. Using a typical condo transaction as an example, Morrison noted, this “could add up to $150,000 they don’t have, so they will have to walk away from the transaction and lose their deposit or beg, borrow and steal the money from someone else.” We’ll keep you up-to-date as information becomes available.