What is the Toronto Vacant Home Tax?
With the enactment of Bylaw 97-2022, the City of Toronto has introduced an annual Vacant Home Tax (VHT) of 1% of the Current Value Assessment (CVA) on all residential properties for the previous year that were not occupied for at least six months, subject to certain exceptions. For example, if the CVA of your property is $1,200,000.00, then the billed amount for your VHT would be $12,000.00. The VHT aims to increase the supply of residential properties for potential homeowners by discouraging residential property owners from having vacant properties in the City of Toronto. The revenue that will be collected from the VHT will go toward funding affordable housing initiatives in the City of Toronto. The introduction of the VHT now requires residential property owners to submit a Declaration of Occupancy Status each year before February 28th for the previous year’s occupancy status. The information filled out on the Declaration of Occupancy Status will determine whether VHT is payable for the following tax year. For example, the Declaration of Occupancy Status for 2022 had a deadline of February 28, 2023, which was used to determine whether a residential property owner would be required to pay VHT in 2023. Failure to submit a Declaration of Occupancy Status form or pay the VHT may make the residential property owner liable to fines or liens on their property. Below you will find more information about the VHT.
HOW TO DECLARE OCCUPANCY STATUS
Each year residential property owners will have a deadline of February 28th to submit their Declaration of Occupancy Status with the City of Toronto. The declaration can be filed either electronically through the City of Toronto’s secure online declaration portal or manually by filling out the applicable form and mailing it to the City of Toronto Revenue Services, or delivering it in person to City Hall, Civic Centre Inquiry, and Payment Counters. To fill out the Declaration of Occupancy Status form, residential property owners will need their 21-digit assessment roll number and their customer number located on their property tax account statement or property tax bill. It is important to note the City of Toronto may conduct random audits of residential properties that were declared to be occupied or subject to an exemption.
COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS
Residential property owners who declared their property as vacant or who failed to submit a Declaration for Occupancy Status form will be issued a Vacant Home Tax Notice of Assessment. If the residential property owner wishes to dispute the assessment, they may file a Notice of Complaint either electronically or manually before the 10th business day of the following April that the VHT was due to be paid. Residential property owners may also receive a Supplementary Vacant Home Tax Notice of Assessment, which may be disputed within 90 days of the date specified on the Supplementary Vacant Home Tax Notice of Assessment.
If residential property owners wish to dispute the decision of the complaint, they may be eligible to file an appeal electronically within 90 days of receiving the decision. Appeals must include the appellant’s assessment roll number and customer number, the appellant’s full name and contact information, information on whether the appellant is acting on behalf of another individual, information regarding the grounds for the appeal, and any other supplementary information to support the appeal.
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About the Author:
Shahriar Jahanshahi is the founder and principal lawyer at Jahanshahi Law Firm with a practice focus on representing business star-ups and investors in the province of Ontario. For further information about Shahriar Jahanshahi, click here.