Looking for a PTT Calculator? Check out this BC Property Transfer Tax Calculator!

PTT Calculator

Use this form to find out the amount of BC's Property Transfer Tax required for the home you are purchasing:

**** PLEASE NOTE – This Calculator is for entertainment purposes only and cannot be relied upon for making actual PTT calculations. *****

I get questions all the time about BC’s Property Transfer Tax and how it applies to Vancouver real estate. Here’s a simple explanation.

BC Property Transfer Tax – What is it?

Property Transfer Tax (PTT) is a British Columbia tax on the sale or transfer of ownership of any residential real estate property in the province.

Why does British Columbia have a Property Transfer Tax?

British Columbia’s Property Transfer Tax was introduced in the 1980’s as part of a failed attempt to slow real estate price increases by increasing transaction costs to reduce the number of sales.

The failure to reduce property prices with this tax can be seen in the continued and relentless increase in real estate prices in across BC since the tax was introduced. The net result of the BC Property Transfer Tax has been to increase the cost of housing across the province with the tax while at the same time dramatically increasing government revenues.

How Much is the BC Property Transfer Tax?

BC Property Tax is calculated based on the purchase price of a residential property in BC and is 1% on the 1st $100K, 2% from $200K to $2 million, and 3% on anything above $2 million.

Please see BC Property Tax rates broken down in detail below:

  • 1% of the purchase price up to and including $200,000
  • 2% of the purchase price greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000
  • 3% of the purchase price greater than $2,000,000

For example:

If you buy a property for $300K, you will have to pay $4000 in BC Property Transfer Tax.

If you buy a property for $900,000 expect to pay $16,000 in BC Property Transfer Tax.

BC Property Tax is payable on fair market value

BC’s Property tax is payable on the fair market value of any residential property sold in British Columbia. We mention this because this because the purchase price may not reflect fair market value. In practice, we have never seen any instance of the BC government demand more PTT because they felt the purchase price of a property was dramatically below fair market value.

When do you pay BC Property Transfer Tax?

Property Transfer Tax is paid on the Completion Date when the title to the property is transferred to the Buyer and the Seller receives their money.

Who pays PTT? All Buyers, EXCEPT First time home buyers who meet the following criteria:

  • Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents determined by Immigration Canada.
  • Lived in British Columbia for 12 consecutive months immediately before the date registration of the property, or have filed 2 income tax returns as a British Columbia resident during the 6 years before the date the property is registered
  • Lived in British Columbia for 12 consecutive months immediately before the date registration of the property, or have filed 2 income tax returns as a British Columbia resident during the 6 years before the date the property is registered
  • Never owned property or an interest in a principal residence anywhere in the world at anytime
  • Never received a first time home buyers’ exemption or refund.
  • The fair market value of the property is less than $475,000 (Updated as of February 2014 with the First Time Home Buyers Exemption for the PTT was raised)
  • The Lot has to be 0.5 hectares (1.24 acres) or smaller, and
  • The property can only be used as a principal residence.

If the property meets some these criteria, there may be a partial exemption.

How is PTT paid?

The lawyer or notary that is helping you transfer ownership of the property will apply and organize the documentation. The lawyer or notary will then forward the taxes to the government on your behalf.

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I welcome questions, thoughts, and comments!