Prov­ince moves for­ward on condo, strata as­sign­ment reg­is­ter

Asian Journal - - BRITISH COLUMBIA -

Vic­to­ria: The British Columbia gov­ern­ment has re­leased reg­u­la­tions to cre­ate a new condo and strata as­sign­ment reg­is­ter.

This reg­is­ter is de­signed to crack down on tax eva­sion and make B.C.’S real es­tate mar­ket more trans­par­ent and fair for British Columbians.

“We will not al­low real es­tate spec­u­la­tors and tax frauds to take ad­van­tage of loop­holes in the sys­tem any longer, and this reg­is­ter sends a clear mes­sage. The days of avoid­ing taxes through condo flip­ping are over,” said Ca­role James, Min­is­ter of Fi­nance. “This reg­is­ter will help bring fair­ness and in­tegrity back to B.C.’S real es­tate mar­ket, so that peo­ple can af­ford homes in the com­mu­ni­ties where they live and work.”

The ex­ist­ing real es­tate regime in British Columbia was vul­ner­a­ble to those in­volved in flip­ping pre­sale condo as­sign­ments with­out pay­ing the ap­pro­pri­ate taxes. To crack down on tax eva­sion, the B.C. gov­ern­ment is cre­at­ing the Condo and Strata As­sign­ment In­tegrity Reg­is­ter (CSAIR). The gov­ern­ment will col­lect com­pre­hen­sive in­for­ma­tion on condo and strata as­sign­ments through the reg­is­ter and help tax au­thor­i­ties find peo­ple who are not pay­ing the ap­pro­pri­ate taxes. Ef­fec­tive Jan. 1, 2019, de­vel­op­ers who sell strata lots in de­vel­op­ment prop­er­ties must: • in­clude terms and a no­tice in their con­tracts to in­form buy­ers of the new col­lec­tion and re­port­ing re­quire­ments;

• col­lect in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing the terms of the as­sign­ment and the name and so­cial in­sur­ance num­ber or busi­ness in­for­ma­tion of the par­ties to the as­sign­ment; and

• re­port this in­for­ma­tion in the on­line reg­is­ter. The B.C. gov­ern­ment will pro­vide this in­for­ma­tion to the Canada Rev­enue Agency so that trans­ac­tions can be traced back to the as­signer’s in­come tax re­turn. This will en­sure that peo­ple who as­sign con­dos are pay­ing the ap­pro­pri­ate in­come taxes.

The gov­ern­ment will use this in­for­ma­tion to en­sure that buy­ers ac­cu­rately re­port the fi­nal pur­chase price of a condo unit, in­clud­ing all as­sign­ment amounts, and pay the ap­pro­pri­ate prop­erty trans­fer tax. The gov­ern­ment will also use the in­for­ma­tion to in­form fu­ture hous­ing and tax pol­icy.

The Land Ti­tle and Sur­vey Au­thor­ity of British Columbia will man­age the on­line reg­is­ter sys­tem. In or­der to com­ply with the new as­sign­ment re­port­ing re­quire­ments, de­vel­op­ers must up­date their con­tracts by Jan. 1, 2019, and must have a MYLTSA En­ter­prise ac­count by March 31, 2019. The first as­sign­ment re­port­ing pe­riod ends March 31, 2019, and the re­port is due on April 30, 2019.

The reg­is­ter is one part of the B.C. gov­ern­ment’s 30-Point Hous­ing Plan to ad­dress hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity. Al­ready, the gov­ern­ment has taken sev­eral ac­tions to ad­dress tax fraud and close loop­holes in the real es­tate mar­ket, in­clud­ing:

• Con­vened an Ex­pert Panel on Money Laun­der­ing in Real Es­tate to iden­tify sys­temic risks that leave the real es­tate and fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tors open to money laun­der­ing.

• Con­sult­ing on leg­is­la­tion to es­tab­lish a new, pub­licly ac­ces­si­ble registry of ben­e­fi­cial own­ers of real es­tate in B.C. • Up­dat­ing the prop­erty trans­fer tax re­turn to un­cover ben­e­fi­cial own­ers be­hind cor­po­ra­tions and trusts.

• En­act­ing leg­is­la­tion to al­low in­for­ma­tion shar­ing on the home­owner grant with fed­eral tax of­fi­cials to im­prove tax en­force­ment. • Strength­en­ing prop­erty trans­fer tax au­di­tors’ abil­ity to take ac­tion on tax eva­sion. • Es­tab­lish­ing a fed­eral-pro­vin­cial work­ing group on tax fraud and money laun­der­ing.

Ca­role James

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