Government takes action to stop tax evasion and to crack down on hidden ownership problems in real estate
The BC Governnmet has a 30-point plan for housing
affordability in which property buyers — including real estate
speculators — will have to disclose more complete information when they
make purchases through a corporation or trust.
has been clear that the days of skirting tax laws and hiding property
ownership behind numbered companies and trusts are over. Not only is
tax evasion in real estate fundamentally unfair, but it’s driving up
the cost of housing for people who live and work in our communities,”
said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “These changes give authorities
another tool to make sure people are paying the taxes they owe.”
Sept. 17, 2018, the new property transfer tax return will require
people to report additional information when a transaction is
structured through a corporation or trust. This will allow government
to identify people with a significant interest in the property, and
ensure the correct amount of tax is paid. The updated return will
require the following additional information:
new reporting requirements will apply to all property types, including
residential and commercial. There will be exemptions for certain
trusts, such as charitable trusts, and certain corporations, such as
hospitals, schools and libraries.
- date of birth
- citizenship information
- contact details
- tax identification numbers (such as a social insurance number)
This change complements other
actions the B.C. government is taking to address tax fraud and close
loopholes in the real estate market, including:
- Consulting on legislation to establish a new, publicly accessible registry of who owns real estate in B.C.
- Introducing a new law to track pre-sale condominium contract assignments, and prevent tax evasion.
- Sharing information on the homeowner grant with federal tax officials to improve tax enforcement.
- Strengthening property transfer tax auditors’ abilities to take action on tax evasion.
- Establishing a federal-provincial working group on tax fraud and money laundering.
Cracking down on hidden ownership of real estate
B.C. government is also taking steps to end the hidden ownership of
real estate to make sure people are paying their share of taxes, as
part of its 30-Point Plan for Housing Affordability.
Columbia has developed a reputation as an attractive place to
anonymously invest and hide wealth. Right now in B.C., real estate
investors can hide behind numbered companies, offshore and domestic
trusts, and corporations,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance.
“Ending this type of hidden ownership in real estate will help us fight
tax evasion, tax fraud and money laundering. Our goal is to return
fairness to the housing market.”
The Province is establishing a
new, publicly accessible registry of who owns real estate in British
Columbia. It will be the first registry of its kind in Canada, and will
improve transparency in the real estate market. It will provide tax
auditors and law enforcement agencies, as well as federal and
provincial regulators, with information that will assist with their
The proposed legislation is set out in a white
paper that includes the draft land owner transparency act. The new law
would authorize the collection of beneficial ownership information, as
well as the creation and administration of the public registry.
Columbians are invited to share their feedback on the white paper
proposal until Sept. 19, 2018. The beneficial ownership registry
complements other initiatives the B.C. government is undertaking to
address tax fraud and close loopholes in the real estate market,
- introducing a new law to track pre-sale condominium contract assignments, and prevent tax evasion.
- sharing information on the homeowner grant with federal tax officials to improve tax enforcement.
- establishing a federal-provincial working group on tax fraud and money laundering.