The B.C. government has finally unveiled its foreign buyers’ tax exemptions for people working in the province.
The new exemption will cover people buying a principal residence, who are nominees through the Provincial Nominee Program – a specific work permitting process that can act as a pathway to permanent residency.
Workers participating in this program who bought a home after the 15 per cent tax was imposed on August 2 last year can also apply for a rebate retroactively.
Also qualifying for a rebate are foreign nationals who became permanent residents or Canadian citizens within one year of buying a principal residence.
The buyers must live continuously in the home for a year.
PNP nominees are able to apply for the exemption beginning today, while people who’ve become permanent residents or citizens will be able to apply for a refund as of August 2.
The move adds clarity to a statement by Premier Clark in January that B.C. would be “exempting workers who have work permits, who are foreigners, who want to buy a home but they’ve been paying their taxes and living in British Columbia.”
While the province is offering rebates in very specific circumstances if you lost a down payment because of the tax you’re out of luck.
As for the number of people who the rebates may apply to, Jamie Edwardson with the Ministry of Finance says it’s a small group.
“In the first year, we’re expecting between 20 to 30 individuals that would apply for the refund. In future years, we’re expecting between 100 and 200.”
Edwardson says the government expects to give back up to $3-million plus interest in the current fiscal year.