Property Transfer Tax is a land registration tax imposed by the Province of BC. It must be paid any time a property changes hands at any Land Title Office in British Columbia. Property Transfer Tax is payable on the fair market value of the property being transferred.
Usually, fair market value is the purchase price. In other instances, such as where no money changes hands or the transfer did not take place in the open market, the fair market value must be determined by other means, such as an independent appraisal or by reference to the most relevant BC Assessment value.
The amount of Property Transfer Tax payable on a purchase is calculated as follows:
1% of the fair market value on the first $200,000,
2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000,
3% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000
2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $3,000,000, if the property is residential
The Buyer and/or property may qualify for a full or partial exemption and has been advised to obtain independent
legal advice regarding this possibility as well as how their residency status may trigger additional Property Transfer
Tax obligations pursuant to this purchase.
Purchase Price = $800,000
Property Transfer Tax Calculation
1% of 1st $200,000 = $2,000 + 2% of the balance ($600,000) = $12,000
Total Tax Payable = $14,000
Exemptions for First Time Home Buyers
Introduced in 1994, the First Time Home Buyers’ Program is designed to help British Columbians purchase their first home. Under the program, eligible purchasers can claim an exemption from Property Transfer Tax if the fair market value of the home is less than the threshold amount.
Do I Qualify?
To qualify for a full exemption, at the time the property is registered you must:
be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
have lived in B.C. for 12 consecutive months immediately before the date you register the property or filed at least 2 income tax returns as a B.C. resident in the last 6 years
have never owned an interest in a principal residence anywhere in the world at any time
have never received a first time home buyers’ exemption or refund
and the property must:
be located in B.C.
only be used as your principal residence
have a fair market value of $500,000 or less
be 0.5 hectares (1.24 acres) or smaller
You may qualify for a partial exemption from the tax if the property:
has a fair market value less than $525,000
is larger than 0.5 hectares
has another building on the property other than the principal residence