The Government of British Columbia is beginning to finally crackdown on an issue that can plague the housing market — tax evasion. (Black Press files)

Government taking action to prevent tax evasion in real estate

One of the lesser known facets of the Government of British Columbia’s 30-point plan for B.C. residents and housing affordability is the fact that they are beginning to finally crackdown on an issue that can plague the housing market — tax evasion.

Per a news release issued by the Ministry of Finance, as part of the aforementioned 30-point plan, the Province is ensuring that property buyers — including real estate speculators — will have to disclose more fleshed out and complete information when they make purchases through any given corporation or trust.

“Our government has been clear that the days of skirting tax laws and hiding property ownership behind numbered companies and trusts are over,” said Carole James, the Minister of Finance. “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. These changes give authorities another tool to make sure people are paying the taxes they owe.”

Starting on Sept. 17, 2018, the new property transfer tax return will reportedly require individuals to report additional information when any given transaction is structured through a corporation or trust.

Ultimately, this will help the provincial government in identifying people with a significant interest in a particular property and in turn, ensure the correct amount of tax is paid.

The news release states that additional information, such as name, date of birth, citizenship details, contact information and tax identification numbers — such as a social insurance number — will now be required during these transactions.

Furthermore, the new reporting requirements will apply to all property types, including residential and commercial housing. Accordingly, there will also be exemptions for certain trusts, such as charitable, as well as corporations, such as hospitals, schools and public libraries.

This change was made to complement some of the other actions the B.C. government is currently undertaking to address tax fraud and close loopholes in the real estate market.

Per the Ministry of Finance, some of these actions include consulting on legislation to establish a new, publicly accessible registry of who owns real estate in B.C., as well as the introduction of a new law to track pre-sale on condominium contract assignments and prevent tax evasion.

Additionally, the Province is working on establishing a federal-provincial working group on tax fraud and money laundering, while also sharing further information on the homeowner grant with federal tax officials to improve tax enforcement and subsequently strengthening property transfer tax auditors’ abilities to take action on tax evasion.

Just Posted

Charges laid in Vanderhoof hotel homicide

A 24-year-old woman from Spirit River, Alta. has been arrested in connection… Continue reading

Rocky days ahead for Vanderhoof

But sometimes rocky days are the best days

Shovel Lake wildfire grows to 5,000 hectares

The Shovel Lake wildfire has seen substantial growth in the last 24… Continue reading

Four more evacuation alerts, one evacuation order issued

Island Lake newest wildfire of note in the Burns Lake area

Locals come out for a concert in the park

Local musicians and bands featured throughout the day

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Most Read