Vacant Home Tax

The Toronto Vacant Home Tax (VHT) aims to discourage property owners from leaving their residential properties vacant for extended periods, thereby encouraging occupancy and potentially increasing the availability of housing in the city.

To summarize:

  1. Declaration Requirement: Owners of properties classified within the residential property tax class in Toronto must declare the occupancy status of their property annually, even if they reside there. This declaration is necessary to determine whether the property is subject to the vacant home tax.
  2. Exemptions: The tax does not apply to properties that are the principal residence of the owner, permitted occupants, or occupied by tenants (including business tenants), as well as properties that qualify for an exemption.
  3. Vacant Home Tax Calculation: The tax rate is either one percent or three percent of the Current Value Assessment (CVA) of the property, depending on the taxation year. For example, for 2022 and 2023, it’s one percent, while for 2024 and future years, it’s three percent. The tax is applied to properties that are declared, deemed, or determined to be vacant for more than six months during the previous year.
  4. Payment: Owners subject to the tax will receive a Vacant Home Tax Notice at the end of March, with payments due in three instalments in May, June, and July.
  5. Declaration Process: Declarations of occupancy status can be submitted online or by mail, by either the property owner or an authorized representative.
  6. Exclusions: Certain properties, such as those not yet assessed, classified as multi-residential, commercial, industrial, vacant land, parking space, or condominium locker, are exempt from the declaration requirement.

This system seems designed to both identify and discourage long-term vacancy of residential properties, with the goal of maximizing housing occupancy and potentially increasing housing availability in Toronto.

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