How to Easily Calculate Property Transfer Tax

What is the Property Transfer Tax?

Property Transfer Tax (“PTT”) is a BC provincial tax that needs to be paid whenever you purchase or gain an interest in a BC property, unless an exemption applies. For more information, please see: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/property-transfer-tax

Why does this matter to you?

Since you may have to pay Property Transfer Tax for your next purchase, it is important to know what the costs are so there are no surprises, especially since legislation has recently changed in 2018 with how much is to be paid.

How is PTT calculated?

The PTT is calculated differently depending on your situation. Have a look at the different ways PTT can be calculated to see where you would fit in.

General PTT Calculation

Tax RateFair Market Value (FMV)
1%$0 to 200,000.00
2%Greater than $200,000.00 to $2,000,000.00
(on the portion of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000)
3%Greater than $2,000,000 for property NOT classified as residential or residential and farm.
5%Greater than $2,000,000 for property classified as residential; or residential and farm (only on the residential portion)

First-time Home Buyer PTT Exemptions

Exemption AmountQualification
Full ExemptionPurchaser Requirement:

  • Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident

  • Lived in BC for 12 consecutive months immediately before registration OR filed at least two income tax returns as C resident during the 6 years before the property registration date

  • Never owned an interest in a principal residence anywhere in the world at any time (principal residence - usual place where an individual lives)

  • Never received a first-time home buyers’ exemption of refund

Property Requirements:

  • Fair market value of property is not more than $500,000.00 (only if purchasing an existing home);

  • Land is 0.5 hectare or smaller; and

  • Property will be used as principal residence

Partial ExemptionPurchaser Requirement (same as above)
Property Requirements:

  • Fair market value of property of $525,000 or less (only if purchasing an existing home);

  • Land is larger than 0.5 hectares (only 0.5 hectares of the land are eligible);

  • Portion of the improvements on the land is used for commercial purposes or there is a separate dwelling on your land (only principle residence portion is eligible)

Requirements During the First Year of Ownership
Occupancy Requirement

  • If you purchase:

    • An existing home – must move into the property within 92 days after registration;

    • Vacant land – must build and move in within 1 year of registration (additional restrictions apply, refer to Government of BC’s website);

  • Must continue to occupy the property as principal residence for the remainder of the first year

Exceptions apply, refer to Government of BC’s website

Newly Built Home Exemptions

Exemption AmountQualification
Full ExemptionPurchaser Requirement:

  • An individual

  • Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident
Property Requirements:

  1. Newly built home which includes:

    1. House constructed and affixed on vacant land;

    2. A new apartment in a newly built condominium building; or

    3. Refer to Government of BC’s website for the complete list

  2. Fair market value of property of $750,000 or less

  3. Land is 0.5 hectare or smaller; and

  4. Property will be used as principal residence
Partial ExemptionPurchaser Requirement (same as above)
Property Requirements:

  • Newly built home as defined above

  • Fair market value of property is greater than $750,000 and less than $800,000

  • Land is larger than 0.5 hectares

  • Has another building on the property other than the principal residence

Additional (Foreign Buyer) PTT

If you are considered a foreign national, foreign corporation or taxable trustee and purchased or obtained interest in a property located within specified areas of BC, then you must pay an additional 20% of the fair market value of the property of your proportionate share of a residential property.

Tax RateDetails
Additional 20%Purchaser Requirement:

  • If fits within one of the following:

    1. Foreign nationals – a person who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada;

    2. Foreign corporations – A corporation that is one of the following: OR

      • Not incorporated in Canada, or

      • Is incorporated in Canada but is controlled in by a foreign national or other foreign corporation, unless the shares of the corporation are listed on a Canadian stock exchange; or

      • Is controlled directly or indirectly by a foreign entity (see section 256 of the Income Tax Act (Canada) for further details)

    3. Taxable trustee

      • Foreign national or foreign corporation holding title in trust for beneficiaries; or

      • Canadian citizen holding title in trust for beneficiaries who are foreign nationals; or

      • Foreign corporations

Property Requirement

  • Residential property includes:

    1. Residential property;

    2. Farm land with residential improvement; and

    3. Commercial with residential improvement.

  • Located with:

    1. Capital Regional District;

    2. Fraser Valley Regional District;

    3. Greater Vancouver Regional District;

    4. Regional District of Central Okanagan; OR

    5. Regional District of Nanaimo.
Exempt from additional 20% - BC Provincial NomineePurchaser Requirement

  • Same as above

  • Confirmed B.C. Provincial Nominee when the property transfer is registered with the Land Title Office;

  • You must be an individual

Property Requirements:

  • Same as above

  • Property used as principal residence
Exempt from additional 20% - General ExemptionPurchaser Requirement (same as above)
Property Requirement (same as above)
Exemption Requirement

  • If exempt from the regular PTT, you are also exemption from the Additional PTT with exceptions as below

Additional 20% - payable despite fit within General ExemptionPurchaser Requirement (same as above)
Property Requirement (same as above)
Special Circumstance - NO EXEMPTIONS AVAILABLE

  • Transfer resulting from amalgamation;

  • Transfer to surviving joint tenant; OR
Where transferee is or becomes a trustee in relation to the property, even if the trust does not change.

Please refer to the BC government website for the most up-to-date information with regards to the Property Transfer Tax.

If you have any questions or would like us to handle your property purchase transaction, please call 604-559-2529 or Send Us A Message.

Try our Free Property Transfer Tax calculator!

Our free online PTT calculator automatically tells you what you would owe by simply entering some basic information about your purchase. Go ahead and try out the PTT calculator by entering the values requested. The PTT will be automatically calculated.

Just be aware that certain conditions or situations may not give 100% accurate results, such as if you are a foreign buyer and a first-time homebuyer. If that sounds like you, get in touch with us and we’d be happy to learn more about your situation and see how we can help.

This PTT calculator is for your guidance only and should not be used to confirm final amounts, as further information may still be required. Please check over with our office for a confirmed calculation for the final amount.

Should you have any questions or would like us to handle your property purchase transaction, please call 604-559-2529 or Send Us A Message.

Property Transfer Tax Calculator

First-Time Homebuyer?

Check out our video about whether you need to hire a lawyer to purchase real estate