BC Tracking Condo Purchasers

Effective September 18th, 2018, the Ministry of Finance in the province of British Columbia (Canada) has introduced a new version of their property transfer tax return which asks for additional information which could be used by the Ministry of Finance, or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to track condo flippers, or those individuals or businesses who purchase condos and rent them out.

The property tax transfer (PTT) return requires that individuals with a “significant interest” in a corporation or trust that acquires property must be identified, with some exceptions.

If, the purchase is made through a corporation or trust, this new legislation will require property developers to collect a database of pre-sale buyers and remit that list to the BC Government.

The change in the regulations have been implemented to reduce the opportunity for tax evasion and / or money laundering, which are believed to have contributed to the skyrocketing house prices in the province.

The New PTT Return will likely require information on all beneficiaries of certain trusts and corporate interest holders including their name, contact information, tax identifiers (SIN, ITN, BN), and citizenship.

The draft legislation titled the Land Owner Transparency Act is still in the consulting stage and the BC government has stated that the results of the consultations do not affect the new PTT return which came into effect September 17, 2018.

These changes pose real threats to the highly speculative pre-sale condo market in BC, and if successful, will likely be implemented in other large urban centres, such as Toronto, Montreal and then across the country.

In recent years, pre-sale buyers have made out like bandits, securing pre-sale contracts with no proof of funds, without having financing in place, or the ability to secure financing and in many cases these buyers have absolutely no intention of closing upon completion of the condo, instead, flipping the contract to other buyers at a profit, without paying the tax on the gain.

The CRA frowns on buyers who flip condo contracts once a profit has been realized and have cracked down on this process, albeit, not enough, and not just on those who have been taking part.  The CRA has also assessed buyers who have legitimately sold their units and who have met all of the requirements for ownership, however it’s much easier for the CRA to determine everyone is guilty than to have to pull the legitimate from the pile of illegitimate.

These contract flippers have been successful because there is no title registration through BC land titles which means the best that the CRA can do is take the developer to court in order to obtain the list of pre-sale buyers who have flipped their contract, or go to court and seek information through a Requirement for Information, but the CRA must have evidence to support their claim that buyers have flipped condo contracts without declaring the capital gain.

All in all, this is just another area where the CRA is tightening up regulations thanks to the BC Ministry of Finance, and we will soon see this process come to an end.  In the meantime, there will be a whole bunch of taxpayers who will be assessed by the CRA, and there will be a 50% Gross Negligence penalty attached to that assessment.

Taxpayers who have been assessed by the CRA and who have done nothing wrong, should contact inTAXicating Tax Services at info@intaxicating.ca, and discuss our strategy for assisting taxpayers.

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Guest Post Thursday: Knowledge First Financial

Knowledge First Financial urges parents to apply for BCTESG

1 in 5 BC children have received the $1,200 education grant

Approximately 80% of eligible children have yet to receive the $1,200 British Columbia Education Savings Grant. Knowledge First Financial, a Canadian RESP Provider, is urging parents to apply now and enjoy all the benefits of an RESP including compound, tax-free growth and the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) of up to $7,200. That means up to $8,400 of ‘free’ money for each child to help pay for post-secondary education for BC parents.

More than ever, post-secondary students have more freedom to choose programs and schools, more time to focus on studies and explore new opportunities, less stress and less debt thanks to the savings accrued from RESPs. Knowledge First Financial supports students in their post-secondary studies – in fact, when the BCTESG was introduced in 2015, Knowledge First Financial was one of the first RESP providers to support it.

If you’re the parent of a child born in BC in 2006 or later, here are three things to know about BCTESG:

 

What is BCTESG?

The British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant is a $1,200 grant for post-secondary education established in 2015. To be eligible, parents or guardians and children must be residents of BC, and possess a Social Insurance Number.

How do I apply?

Firstly, you will need a RESP from a provider who can access the BCTESG – a sales representative from Knowledge Financial First can help set this up for you. You will be asked for proof of residency, such as a driver’s license, BCID card, BC Service Cards or a recent utility bill upon application.

When do I apply?

You can apply for BCTESG as soon as your child turns six up until the day before your child’s ninth birthday, however Knowledge First Financial recommends that parents apply as soon as possible. Deadlines for children born before August 15, 2009 are slightly different:

  • Children born in 2006: Apply between August 15, 2016 and August 14, 2019
  • Children born in 2007, 2008, before August 15, 2009: Apply between August 15, 2015 and August 14, 2018

 

Source: http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/reports/resp_promoters/infocapsules/bc.page

 

Why apply now?

You’ll receive the education grants sooner and your savings will have more time to grow.   Learn more about why an RESP is a smart way to invest in a child’s future by setting up an appointment with a Knowledge First Financial sales representative today.

 

About Knowledge First Financial Inc.

Knowledge First Financial Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Knowledge First Foundation and is the investment fund manager, administrator and distributor of the education savings plans offered by Knowledge First Foundation. For more information about education savings plans from Knowledge First Financial Inc., please visit knowledgefirstfinancial.ca or refer to our prospectus.

As of April 30, 2016, Knowledge First Financial manages $3.62 billion in assets on behalf of more than 250,000 customers.

Knowledge First Financial® is a registered trademark of Knowledge First Financial Inc.

This post was written by Daryl Shriver, and he can be found through his Twitter account.

CRA Conviction: Victoria Man Sentenced for Tax Evasion and Counselling Others to Commit Fraud

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has reported that a Victoria, BC man, Richard Stanchfield, has been handed a 14-month conditional jail sentence (including 9-months of house arrest) for income tax evasion and for counselling others to commit fraud.

Stanchfield has been ordered to pay $31,000 in outstanding tax on his own income over a 5-year period.

The CRA has stated that Stanchfield promoted himself as “educator” at a firm called the Paradigm Education Group, which claimed to advise clients of methods of restructuring personal finances to avoid having to pay tax.

In line with their view on tax schemes and scams, the CRA warns consumers to beware individuals who “try to convince you that you do not have to pay tax on earned income”.

If it seems too good to be true, it is!