How to Easily Calculate Property Transfer Tax

Property Transfer Tax Calculator

When purchasing a home, condo, or any other property in Canada, you will need to pay some fee to transfer ownership. The land transfer tax amount charged is based on the property value. Most provinces will charge a percentage of land transfer tax, while others charge transfer and registration fees, which will cost less.

Using the property transfer tax calculator to estimate the land transfer tax payable based on fair market value would be best. This will give you an idea of the total property transfer tax you might be paying upon completion. Dive in to learn more about 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. It is also known as land transfer tax, one of the closing costs a home buyer should know about.

The buyer pays land transfer tax when a real estate purchase is completed. The PTT is calculated with a notary or a lawyer at the time of the statement of adjustments. They will also apply and organize documentation for the payment.

Most property transfer tax calculations are based on the purchase price specified in the contract of purchase and sale. In some cases where there is no monetary exchange, like an inheritance, the fair market value is based on an appraisal report acquired by a third-party appraiser or a BC assessment.

For more information, please see:

Why Does This Matter to You?

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

Here are a few reasons why the property transfer tax matters in Canada:

1. Cost of the Transaction

The PTT is usually calculated as a percentage of the property’s purchase price. This means the higher the purchase price, the higher the PTT amount. This can add up to a significant total, especially for high-priced properties.

2. Affordability

For many Canadians, buying a home is a significant financial decision. The property transfer tax can impact the affordability of the property, especially for first-time homebuyers who may not have a large down payment or savings to cover the additional cost.

Sometimes, first-time homebuyers may be eligible for a property transfer tax exemption or rebate, which can help make the purchase more affordable.

3. Budgeting

The PTT is a one-time cost that needs to be factored into the budget when buying a property. Buyers must ensure they have enough funds to cover the property transfer tax and other closing costs, such as legal fees, appraisal fees, and title insurance.

4. Regional Differences

The property transfer tax rates vary by province and territory, meaning the transaction cost can differ significantly depending on the property’s location. Buyers must know the PTT rates in their province or territory and factor them into their budget when buying a property.

How Is PTT Calculated?

The PTT is calculated differently depending on your situation. Look at how property transfer tax can be calculated to see where you would fit in.



  • 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 a residential or residential farm.
  • 5% Greater than $2,000,000 for property classified as residential; or residential and farm (only on the residential portion)


As a first-time home buyer, you might wonder if you can receive the land transfer tax rebate.

a). Full Exemption

Purchaser Requirement:

  • Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident
  • Lived in BC for 12 consecutive months immediately before registration or filed at least two income tax returns as a C resident during the six 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:

  • The property’s fair market value is not more than $500,000.00 (only if purchasing an existing home);
  • The land is 0.5 hectares or smaller
  • The property will be used as a principal residence

b). Partial Exemption

Purchaser Requirement (same as above)
Property Requirements:

  • The fair market value of the property of $525,000 or less (only if purchasing an existing home);
  • The land is larger than 0.5 hectares (only 0.5 hectares of the land are eligible);
  • A portion of the improvements on the land is used for commercial purposes, or there is a separate dwelling on your land (only the principal residence portion is eligible)

Requirements During the First Year of Ownership

c) Occupancy Requirements

If you purchase:

  • An existing home – must move into the property within 92 days after registration;
  • Vacant land – must build and move in within one year of registration (additional restrictions apply, refer to the Government of BC’s website);
  • Must continue to occupy the property as a principal residence for the remainder of the first year

Exceptions apply; refer to the Government of BC’s website


Newly built homes are mostly referred to as presale condos or townhouses. However, this could include a house constructed on vacant land, which is a substantially renovated home on vacant land, and other newly built homes.

Most people wonder if they should be paying land transfer tax on purchasing a new home. The answer is yes, although the PTT exemption threshold for newly built homes is much higher than the FTHB exemption.

a). Full Exemption

Purchaser Requirement:

  • An individual
  • Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident

Property Requirements:

1. A Newly built home that includes:

  • House constructed and affixed on vacant land;
  • A new apartment in a newly built condominium building; or
  • Refer to the Government of BC’s website for the complete list

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

3. Land is 0.5 hectares or smaller; and

4. Property will be used as a principal residence

b). Partial Exemption

Purchaser Requirement (same as above)
Property Requirements:

  • Newly built home as defined above
  • The fair market value of the property is greater than $750,000 and less than $800,000
  • The land is larger than 0.5 hectares
  • Has another building on the property other than the principal residence


Full Exemption- 100%

Purchaser Requirement:

  • Canadian citizen
  • Meet the definition of a related individual

For the family property transfer tax exemption, the related individual is either a:

  • A spouse, child, grandchild, great-grandchild, parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent
  • The spouse of your child, grandchild, or great-grandchild
  • The child, parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent of your spouse

Notably, for the family property transfer tax exemption, some family members such as a sister, brother, uncle, aunt, niece, or nephew are not considered qualifying related individuals to avoid property transfer tax.

Property Requirements:

  • One of the parties must have used the property as a principal residence in the past six months
  • The building is designed to accommodate three families or less
  • The improvements on the land are classified as residential by BC Assessment
  • The land should be 0.5 hectares or smaller


Suppose you are considered a foreign national, foreign corporation, or taxable trustee and purchased or obtained an interest in a property in specified areas of British Columbia. In that case, you must pay an additional 20% of the fair market value of the property of your proportionate share of a residential property.


a). Additional 20%

Purchaser Requirement:

If it 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 included in Canada but is controlled 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:

  • Residential property;
  • Farmland with residential improvement; and
  • Commercial with residential improvement

Located with:

  • Capital Regional District;
  • Fraser Valley Regional District;
  • Greater Vancouver Regional District;
  • Regional District of Central Okanagan; OR
  • Regional District of Nanaimo

b). Exempt from Additional 20%– BC Provincial Nominee

Purchaser 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 a principal residence

c). Exempt from Additional 20% – General Exemption

Purchaser Requirement (same as above)
Property Requirement (same as above)
Exemption Requirement

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

d). Additional 20% – Payable Despite fit within General Exemption

Purchaser Requirement (same as above)
Property Requirement (same as above)

  • Transfer resulting from amalgamation;
  • Transfer to surviving joint tenant; or

Where the transferee is or becomes a trustee in relation to the property, even if the trust does not change.


If you register a vacant house and have paid the tax, you can apply for a land transfer tax refund if you have the following:

  • Built a new home on the land worth $750,000 or less;
  • Moved into the home as a principal residence within a year of registering the property
  • Meet the qualifications for the Newly Built Home Exemption.

What You Need to Know About Land Transfer Taxes

  • Transfer taxes are part of the closing costs, which means they are paid out when the home sale is finalized
  • For costs, land transfer taxes will run the spectrum from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on where the property located
  • For most areas, the home seller is expected to pay transfer taxes. However, the person paying can depend on local regulations

Other Land Transfer Tax Exemptions

In other instances, provincial land transfer tax doesn’t need to be paid. These special circumstances could cover transfers between specific parties, including:

  • Some land transfers between spouses
  • Some land transfers from an individual to their family business corporation
  • Some transfers of a life lease from a charity or a non-profit
  • Some transfers of farmland between family members

These exceptions are few, and it’s not apparent without a careful review of the land transfer tax act when an exception applies.

Please refer to the British Columbia government website for the most up-to-date information with regard 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?

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