Vancouver Empty Home Tax Calculator 2021

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What is the Vancouver Empty Homes Tax?

The Vancouver Empty Homes Tax is a tax on empty homes in the City of Vancouver. All homeowners in Vancouver are required to complete a property status declaration at the beginning of each calendar year by the start of February, which will determine if your home is subject to the tax. Generally, your home will be subject to the empty homes tax if it was unoccupied in the previous calendar year; however, there are several exemptions to this. The City of Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax was launched in 2017 and city revenues from the tax are reinvested into building affordable housing initiatives.


Empty Home Tax 2021 Update: Increase to 3%

The City of Vancouver recently announced that the Vancouver Empty Home Tax will increase to 3% in 2021 compared to 1.25% in 2020. This new rate will apply to all applicable properties in the 2021 reference year from January 1st, 2021 to December 31st, 2021. Our calculator has been updated for the new tax rate.

Canadian citizens or PR
Your estimated empty home tax is...

How is my empty home tax calculated?

City empty home tax (3%)
Provincial empty home tax (0.5%)
Total empty home tax

Vancouver Empty Home Tax Rates

For the 2021 reference year (January 1-December 31, 2021), if your property was declared as empty, you will be required to pay a 3% tax on the assessed value of your property. For the 2020 reference year, (January 1-December 31, 2020), the empty homes tax rate remained unchanged at 1.25%.

Vancouver Empty Home Tax Rates From 2017 - 2021

Reference Year2017-201920202021
Empty Homes Tax Rate1%1.25%3%

For example, a property deemed to be empty with an assessed value of $1M will be subject to a 3%, or $30,000, Vancouver empty home tax for the reference year of 2021.

Vancouver homeowners are responsible for both the Vancouver Empty Homes Tax and the British Columbia Speculation and Vacancy Tax.

Who Is Required to Pay the Vancouver Empty Homes Tax?

All residential homeowners in Vancouver are required to complete a declaration for the empty home tax each year, but most will be exempt from paying the tax due to common exemptions. You can find out if you need to pay the empty home tax by completing the Empty Homes Tax Questionnaire.

Common exemptions include:

  • Principal Residence: You or a permitted occupier (someone who you allow to live on your property such as a family member or friend) occupy the residence for more than six months of the reference year
  • Rented Out: You have rented your property out to a tenant for at least six months of the reference year
  • Construction or Renovation: Your property is undergoing major construction, renovation, or redevelopment that causes it to be vacant for at least six months of the year
  • Buying or Selling During the Year: You bought or sold your property during the reference year

How to Complete Your Declaration

All property owners in Vancouver must complete the Empty Homes Tax Declaration by February for the previous reference year and pay any outstanding balance by April. For example, for the 2020 reference year, you would be required to complete the declaration by February 2021 and pay any outstanding balances by April 2021. You can complete your declaration on the City of Vancouver’s website.

You will need to provide the following to complete your declaration:

  • Your name and contact details
  • The status of your property (vacant or exempt)
  • Any additional information as stated on the back of your property tax notice
  • Your folio number and access code
Vancouver Property Tax Notice

You can find your folio number and access code on your property tax notice

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What Can You Do If Your Property Is Empty or Underutilized?

There are many options available if your property is vacant or not lived in for most of the year that can help you make the most of your property and save on tax.

For example, you can choose to:

  • Rent out your property
  • Lend your property to a permitted occupier (friend or family member) as their principal residence for more than six months of the year
  • Occupy your property as your principal residence for more than six months of the year
  • Hire a property management firm to help you rent out and manage your property
  • Sell your property

History, News and Impact of the Vancouver Empty Homes Tax

Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax was first launched in 2017 to return vacant homes to the rental market for people who live and work in Vancouver. After the launch of the EHT, more people are choosing to sell or rent out their homes, and this increases the number of homes available for rent. Since then, the City of Vancouver has seen year-over year improvement as the number of empty homes has decreased and the number of homes available for rent have increased. In 2019, the number of properties declared as vacant was 787, down 15% from 922 vacant properties in 2018, and also down 30% from 1131 vacancies in 2017. The number of condos being rented out in 2019 is up 21% from the same metric in 2018.

The City of Vancouver also uses revenue from the EHT to fund affordable rental projects and modular housing programs in Vancouver that help to address the homelessness crisis. In 2019, the Empty Homes Tax brought in $39.4 million in tax revenues for the City of Vancouver.

Get More Information

Any questions regarding the Empty Homes Tax can be directed to the City of Vancouver online or by calling 604-873-7000.

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The calculators and content on this page are provided for general information purposes only. WOWA does not guarantee the accuracy of information shown and is not responsible for any consequences of the use of the calculator.