BC’s Speculation and Vacancy Tax

Release date : Mar 07, 2019

Dear Snowbirds,

The speculation and vacancy tax is an annual tax paid by some owners of residential properties in designated taxable regions of B.C. Generally, an owner is exempt from the tax if the residential property is their principal residence, which is the place where the owner lives for a longer period in a calendar year than any other place.

While more than 99% of British Columbians are expected to be exempt from the tax, all residential property owners in the taxable regions must complete a declaration, even if they're eligible for an exemption.

Only those owning residential property located in a designated taxable region in B.C. must complete a declaration for the speculation and vacancy tax. Below is a list of the designated taxable regions:

  • Municipalities within the Capital Regional District. This excludes Salt Spring Island, Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, and the Southern Gulf Islands
  • Municipalities within the Metro Vancouver Regional District, excluding Bowen Island, the Village of Lions Bay and Electoral Area A, but including UBC and the University Endowment Lands
  • The City of Abbotsford
  • The District of Mission
  • The City of Chilliwack
  • The City of Kelowna
  • The City of West Kelowna
  • The City of Nanaimo
  • The District of Lantzville

Property owners who are away during the mailing of the speculation and vacancy tax declaration letters can call after February 14 to request their Letter ID and Declaration Code to complete their declaration online. Property owners can also declare immediately over the phone with the help of an agent.  Agents can be reached toll free at 1-833-554-2323 within North America or at 1-604-660-2421 outside of North America. 

To claim your exemption, you must register your property by March 31, 2019.


  • Property owners will need their social insurance number to verify their identity and complete their declaration.
  • Where there are multiple owners of a home, a declaration must be completed by each owner, including spouses.
  • Property owners may also authorize someone else to complete their declaration on their behalf.

If you have any questions or comments related to this matter, or any other issue, please contact the CSA office toll-free at 1-800-265-3200 or email us at csastaff@snowbirds.org.


The Canadian Snowbird Association
The Voice of Travelling Canadians