Join in: Open until September 17, 2021

Across the country, young Canadians who are starting to build their future are running up against sky-high housing prices. To ensure that Canada's housing market is a place to grow for Canadians starting their families and building their future, the government is taking action on several fronts, including proposing a tax on underused housing to support investments in housing affordability.

Budget 2021 announced the government's intention to implement a national, annual one per cent tax on the value of non-resident, non-Canadian owned residential real estate that is considered to be vacant or underused, effective January 1, 2022. This will ensure that foreign, non-resident owners, who simply use Canada to passively store their wealth in housing, pay their fair share.

Our objective

Through this consultation process, the Department of Finance is seeking feedback on the design of the proposed Underused Housing Tax (UHT).

Key considerations

Full details on the government's proposed approach can be found in the technical background paper. Design aspects under consideration include:

  • the definition of "residential property;"
  • the definitions of "owner" of residential property and "interest" in residential property;
  • the value on which the tax would apply;
  • "excluded owners" in respect of which the tax would not apply;
  • exemptions from the tax;
  • the annual declaration requirement and the consequences of failing to file the declaration; and
  • whether special rules should be established in respect of residential properties located in smaller, resort and tourism communities, and if so, what those rules should be.

Who is the focus of this consultation?

The department is seeking the views of tax practitioners and legal experts, as well as the real estate and tourism sectors. Interested members of the public are also invited to provide feedback.

In submitting your comments, please include:

  • full name and title of official;
  • name of the organization;
  • sector;
  • telephone number, including area code; and
  • reply email address.

Participate through email

Due to COVID-19 public health considerations, email submissions are preferred. Send us your comments at UHT-TLSU@fin.gc.ca with "Underused Housing Tax" or "UHT" as the subject line.

Should you wish to provide comments by mail, please direct your submission to the attention of the Tax Policy Branch.

Treatment of confidential information

Information received through this comment process is subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. Those providing comments are asked to indicate clearly the name of the individual or the organization that should be identified as having made the submission. In order to respect privacy and confidentiality, please advise when providing your comments whether you:

  • consent to the disclosure of your comments in whole or in part;
  • request that your identity and any personal identifiers be removed prior to release; or
  • wish that any portions of your comments be kept confidential (if so, clearly identify the confidential portions).

Should you indicate that your comments, or any portions thereof, be considered confidential, the department will make all reasonable efforts to protect this information.

What's next?

The department will consider your feedback as officials finalize the design of the proposed new tax and prepare draft legislation. The department expects that draft legislative proposals will be released for public comment later this year.

Related links

Get in touch

UHT-TLSU@fin.gc.ca