What is Property Transfer Tax (PTT)?

What is Property Transfer Tax (PTT)?

In BC, you are charged property transfer tax when you make changes to a property's title, including:

  • acquiring a registered interest in the property
  • gaining an additional registered interest in the property
  • becoming the registered holder of a lease, life estate, or right to purchase for the property

The amount of tax you pay is based on the fair market value of the land and improvements (e.g. buildings) on the date of registration unless you purchase a pre-sold strata unit. The tax is charged at a rate of 1% for the first $200,000 and 2% for the portion of the fair market value that is greater than $200,000.

For example, if the fair market value of a property is $250,000, the tax paid is $3,000 (1% of first $200,000 = $2000 + 2% of the balance on $50,000 = $1,000)

First Time Home Buyers' Program

The First Time Home Buyers' Program reduces or eliminates the amount of property transfer tax you pay when you purchase your first home. If you qualify for the program, you may be eligible for either a full or partial exemption from the tax.

If one or more of the purchasers don’t qualify, only the percentage of interest that the first time home buyer(s) have in the property is eligible.

For example, if you qualify and purchase a property with a fair market value of $400,000 with a person that doesn’t qualify you would still qualify. If you owned a 60% interest in the property, 60% of the tax amount would be eligible for the exemption.

Do I Qualify?

To qualify for a full exemption (PDF), 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 
  • you 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: be 0.5 hectares (1.24 acres) or smaller
    • $425,000 or less if registered on or before February 18, 2014, or
    • $475,000 or less if registered on or after February 19, 2014

You may qualify for a partial exemption (PDF) from the tax if the property:

  • has a fair market value less than: is larger than 0.5 hectareshas another building on the property other than the principal residence
    • $450,000 if registered on or before February 18, 2014, or
    • $500,000 if registered on or after February 19, 2014

If you don’t qualify because you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, but you become one within 12 months of when the property is registered, you may apply for a refund of the tax. To apply for a refund call (250) 387-0604.

Lisa Butler

Lisa Butler

REALTOR®
CENTURY 21 Executives Realty Ltd.
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