As a real estate agent in Vancouver, Ariane Benjamin knows there have been problems tracing home ownership in BC and around the country.
“Fundamentally, the Canadian tax system assumes that people are honest. As a result, there have been a few who have taken advantage of loopholes to hide property ownership behind numbered companies and trusts in order to skirt tax laws.”
However, as of September 17, 2018, a new property transfer tax (PTT) return will require those purchasing a property through a corporation or trust to disclose the same full slate of personal information that home buyers disclose on a regular PTT return.
Buyers will now need to disclose their name, date of birth, citizenship information, contact details, and tax identification numbers (such as social insurance numbers). The law aims to tighten up regulations around real estate evasion, a practice Finance Minister Carol James calls “fundamentally unfair.”
Although there will be exemptions for certain trusts, such as charities, schools, libraries, and certain corporations, James says the days of evading taxes by hiding property ownership behind numbered companies are over.
“This move is part of the NDP’s 30-point plan to bring the housing process under control in Vancouver,” says Ariane. “Other facets include tracking presale condos to prevent flipping and establishing a group that will focus specifically on tax fraud and laundering in BC’s real estate market.”