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Defer your Property Taxes



Both BC & AB have a property tax deferral program for both individuals over 55 and families with children. The deferred taxes will be set up as debt registered against title to your home and accrues in interest.


Below are more details on the BC Program only. To access more information on the AB program or to obtain the application for the BC or AB program, please click the appropriate link:



Regular Program

  • 55 or older during the current year

  • A surviving spouse of any age

  • A person with disabilities

Applicant Qualifications

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada

  • Be a registered owner of the property

  • Have lived in B.C. for at least one year prior to applying

  • Pay property taxes for the residence to a municipality or the province

  • Have paid all previous years' property taxes, utility user fees, penalties and interest

You must also be either:

  • Aged 55 or older this year (only one owner must be 55 or older any time during the current calendar year)

  • A surviving spouse of any age who isn't currently the spouse of another person

  • Designated as a person with disabilities under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act

  • A person with disabilities and, in the opinion of a physician, your severe mental or physical impairment:

    • Is likely to continue for at least two years

    • Directly and significantly restricts your ability to perform daily living activities, either continuously or periodically for extended periods, and

    • As a result of those restrictions, requires you to have an assistive device, the significant help or supervision of another person, or the services of an assistance animal to perform those activities

Property Qualifications

  • Be your principal residence (where you live and conduct your daily activities)

  • Be taxed as residential (class 1) or residential and farm (class 1 and 9)

You must have and maintain a minimum equity of 25% of the property's assessed value. This means that all charges registered against your property plus the amount of taxes you want to defer can’t be more than 75% of the BC Assessment value of your property in the year you apply.


If you have a secured debt on your property, such as a mortgage or a line of credit, contact your lender before you apply to ensure your approval into the tax deferment program doesn't conflict with the terms of your loan.



Families with Children Program

You may qualify for the Families with Children Program if you're a parent, stepparent or financially supporting a child.


You must also meet applicant, property and equity qualifications to be eligible for the Families with Children Program:


To qualify for this program you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada

  • Be a registered owner of the property

  • Have lived in B.C. for at least one year prior to applying

  • Pay property taxes for the residence to a municipality or the province, and

  • Have paid all previous years' property taxes, utility user fees, penalties and interest


You must also be financially supporting either:

  • A child who is under the age of 18 and living with you full time or part time or who doesn't live with you but you pay support for the child

  • Your own child or stepchild of any age who is attending an educational institution (e.g. college or university)

  • Your own child or stepchild of any age who is designated as a person with disabilities under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act

  • Your own child or stepchild of any age who, in the opinion of a physician, has a severe mental or physical impairment that:

    • Is likely to continue for at least two years

    • Directly and significantly restricts their ability to perform daily living activities, either continuously or periodically for extended periods, and

    • As a result of those restrictions, they require an assistive device, the significant help or supervision of another person, or the services of an assistance animal to help perform those activities


To qualify for this program, your eligible property must:

  • Be your principal residence (where you live and conduct your daily activities)

  • Be taxed as residential (class 1) or residential and farm (class 1 and 9)

You must have and maintain a minimum equity of 15% of the property's assessed value. This means that all charges registered against your property plus the amount of taxes you want to defer can’t be more than 85% of the BC Assessment value of your property in the year you apply.


If you have a secured debt on your property, such as a mortgage or a line of credit, contact your lender before you apply to ensure your approval into the tax deferment program doesn't conflict with the terms of your loan.



Contact your lender prior to applying to ensure approval into the program does not conflict with the terms of your loan.


If there's an option to purchase on the property title, the property may not qualify for deferment. Contact us for more information before you apply.


If you're thinking of selling your home or your home is listed for sale, contact us to find out if you're eligible to defer your property taxes.



When to apply

If you qualify for the program, you can submit an application to defer your unpaid property taxes between early May and December 31 of the current taxation year. However, we recommend applying after you receive your property tax notice and before your property taxes are due. If you didn't receive your tax notice by the end of June, contact your property tax office.



If you apply outside of the recommended application time

Applications are only open from May through to December 31 each year.


Applications received between January and the end of April for the current tax year will be cancelled. Here's what you can expect if you apply outside of the recommended application time:


You applied before receiving your property tax notice

If you applied in May, but before you received your property tax notice, your application will be held until the current year’s property tax information is available from your municipality.

You applied after property taxes are due

You applied after your property taxes are due

If you applied after your property taxes are due, you must pay any late payment penalties to your municipality.


Only your current year’s taxes classed as residential (class 1) and residential and farm (class 1 and 9) will be deferred. Property taxes for classes 2 to 8 must be paid directly to your municipality and cannot be deferred.


You applied before property taxes are due but your application was approved after the due date

If you applied before property taxes are due but your application was approved after the due date, you won't be charged late payment penalties on the deferred taxes.


However, if we find you aren’t eligible for deferment or authorization is not provided by all registered owners and it's past the property tax due date, then your property tax office may charge you late payment penalties on the unpaid taxes.


Applications are done in the order they are received. They may take several months to review and process.



Repay your loan

You can repay all or part of your tax deferment loan any time during the year. Monthly interest will be added to your account balance on the 23rd of each month until it is paid in full.

If you would like to pay your loan and keep your account open, leave a minimum balance of $25.00. However, if you’re selling your home or adding someone who's not a spouse to your property title, your account must be paid in full.

If you plan on refinancing, check with your lender to see if they require you to pay out your loan. Before you make a payment to your tax deferment account, confirm your balance:

  • Online through your eTaxBC logon, or

  • Contact us to receive a payout letter


Late payment penalties

Your property tax office may charge you a late payment penalty if:

  • Your application isn't approved and it’s past the property tax due date

  • Your application is withdrawn or rejected for any reason by yourself or by the Tax Deferment Office after the tax due date

Late payment penalties are applied after the tax due date and are legislative and cannot be waived or removed.



Interest

Interest is charged on your tax deferment loan from the date your property tax is due or the date you apply to defer your taxes, whichever is later.


The interest rate you are charged depends on the tax deferment program you chose. The interest rates are:

  • Set every April 1 and October 1 and are not changed outside of these dates

  • Calculated on the 23rd of each month

  • Not compounded


Fees

If you apply for the Regular Program, you'll be charged a $60 administrative fee when your application is approved and a $10 renewal fee for each year you renew. These fees are added to your loan balance. Don’t send payment for these fees with your application or renewal forms.


If you apply for the Families with Children Program, you won’t be charged any fees.



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