Toronto's Vacant Home Tax: What You Need to Know


Attention Toronto homeowners! It's time to declare the occupancy status of your residential property for the year 2023. This declaration is mandatory for all properties classified within the residential property tax class, and the deadline is fast approaching—February 29, 2024.

Why the Vacant Home Tax?

The primary goal of the VHT is to address the issue of vacant residential properties in Toronto. By imposing a tax on properties that remain unoccupied for extended periods, the city aims to encourage property owners to either occupy or rent out their properties, thereby contributing to the housing supply. At its core, the VHT aims to bolster the housing supply by deterring the practice of leaving residential properties unoccupied. The tax is not only a financial levy but also a social tool, with its revenues earmarked for initiatives like the Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition program, which is pivotal in the city's affordable housing efforts.


How It Works

Owners of properties classified within the residential property tax class must declare the occupancy status of their property annually. This declaration is required regardless of whether the property is occupied by the owner, a permitted occupant, or a tenant. Failure to declare may result in penalties and fines. Even if you declared the property as occupied last year, you still have to do so this year!


Exemptions and Eligibility

Certain properties may be exempt from the Vacant Home Tax, including properties that are the principal residence of the owner, properties occupied by permitted occupants or tenants, and properties undergoing repairs or renovations. Eligible exemptions also include cases such as the death of a registered owner or properties required for full-time employment purposes.


Calculating the Tax

For the years 2022 and 2023, the Vacant Home Tax is set at one per cent of the Current Value Assessment (CVA) for properties that are deemed vacant for more than six months during the previous year. However, starting in 2024, the tax rate will increase to three per cent of the CVA for vacant properties.  This progression underscores the city's increasing emphasis on reducing vacancies and optimizing housing use.


How to Declare

The easiest way to declare the occupancy status of your property is through the City's secure online portal. You'll need your 21-digit assessment roll number and customer number from your property tax bill or statement. Remember, it's essential to submit your declaration by the deadline to avoid penalties.


Appeals and Complaints

If you disagree with the assessment of your property's occupancy status or believe you qualify for an exemption, you have the right to file a Notice of Complaint or submit an appeal. The process involves providing supporting documentation and may result in a review of your property's status.


Payment and Deadlines

Payments for the Vacant Home Tax are due in three equal installments on May 15, June 17, and July 15, 2024. It's crucial to make your payments on time to avoid interest charges and penalties.


Take Action Today

Don't wait until the last minute to declare the occupancy status of your property. Visit the City's online portal now to complete your declaration and avoid potential penalties. Let's work together to ensure Toronto's housing market remains vibrant and accessible to all.


The Impact on Property Transactions

The VHT introduces considerations for both buyers and sellers in the real estate market. Ensuring compliance with the declaration requirements and understanding the tax liabilities are essential steps in any property transaction within Toronto.


Looking Ahead

With the VHT, Toronto takes a bold step towards addressing its housing challenges. For homeowners and prospective buyers, staying informed and proactive is paramount. Whether it's making timely declarations, exploring exemptions, or understanding the tax's implications on property transactions, knowledge is your best ally.


For those navigating the complexities of the real estate market, remember, The Johnson Team is here to guide you. Our commitment to honesty, ethical practices, and continuous learning ensures you have a trusted partner on your journey. Whether you're considering buying, selling, or simply seeking advice, reach out to us. Let's make your real estate aspirations a reality, together.


Explore our services and contact us today to discuss how we can support your real estate needs in Toronto.


Posted by Maryann Jones on


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