Tools

British Columbia land transfer tax calculator

Last updated: July 22, 2022

What this tool is all about:

This tool lets you get an estimate of what your land transfer tax will be when you purchase a British Columbia property.

Disclaimer: Perch does not guarantee the accuracy of these results and should be treated as an estimate. Exact British Columbia land transfer tax will be provided to you by your solicitor prior to your closing date. Please refer to our Terms of Use for more information.

The history of the British Columbia land transfer tax


Known today as the British Columbia property transfer tax or British Columbia land transfer tax, it was originally called the Property Purchase Tax (PPT) and was first introduced in 1987 as a wealth tax to discourage speculation. It cost 1% of the first $200,000 and 2% of the remainder, however most home purchases didn’t qualify for the tax at the time as they were often below $200,000. In 2021, British Columbia introduced an extra 2% tax on properties valued over $3 million, bringing the bracket total to 5%.
Probably one of the largest closing costs for buyers, the British Columbia land transfer tax, also known as the property transfer tax, is a one time fee paid to your provincial government when a property or home is transferred from the seller to you.  Tax rates will also vary depending on the province your property is located in. In British Columbia, the land transfer tax is applied to every home or property once purchased and will depend on the fair market value of the property on the day it was registered with the Land Title Office.

Anyone who purchases a property must pay a land transfer tax to the province in which they bought the property and it must be paid when the transaction closes. Depending on your location, residents might have to pay both provincial and municipal land transfer tax.

If you are a first-time home buyer in British Columbia, you might be able to claim a first-time home buyer land transfer tax credit. Properties are eligible for a full refund if the property value is $500,000 or less.

Your eligibility for this first time home buyer land transfer tax based on the following:

  • You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
  • You cannot have owned a home before in Canada or anywhere else in the world
  • You have lived in B.C. for at least a year before the property is registered OR filed 2 income tax returns in the past 6 years before the registration date
  • Have never received a first time home buyers’ exemption or refund

To be eligible, your property must also meet certain criteria such as:

  • The property must be used as your primary residence
  • The property must have a fair market value of $500,000 or less
  • The property must be 1.24 acres or smaller

For first-time home buyers purchasing real estate in British Columbia, homes priced between $500,000 to $525,000, are given a partial refund. You might be eligible for a partial exemption if you meet the criteria of being a first-time home buyer and your property:

  • Has a fair market value less than $525,000
  • Is larger than 1.24 acres
  • Has another building on the property that than the primary residence

If you are unsure if you are eligible for the first-time home buyer land transfer tax rebate, talk to your mortgage advisor to learn more.

If you purchase a new home, you might be eligible for the Newly Built Homes Exemption, which can help lessen or eliminate the B.C. land transfer tax.

For full exemption, your new property must:
  • Have a fair market value up to $750,000
  • Be the primary residence
  • Be 1.24 acres or smaller
For partial exemption, your new property must:
  • Have a fair market value between $750,000 and $800,000
  • Have another building on the property other than the primary residence
  • Be larger than 1.24 acres
Occupancy requirements include:
  • Move in date must be within 92 days of registration
  • The property must be used as the primary residence for at least the remainder of the year
No, not all provinces in Canada have land transfer tax. The provinces that have land transfer tax are: Some areas in Canada will charge both provincial and municipal land transfer tax.

All other remaining provinces and territories charge registration fees based on the value of the property being bought or transferred. These fees are usually much lower compared to typical Canadian land transfer tax rates.
British Columbia land transfer tax is typically based on the fair market value of the property on the day it was registered with the Land Title Office.

There are 3 types of rates to consider when calculating your B.C. land transfer tax:
  • General property transfer tax
  • Further 2% on residential property over $3,000,000
  • Additional property transfer tax
Purchase Price of Property Marginal Tax Rate
Up to and including $200,000 1%
$200,001 to $200,000,000 2%
$2,000,000+ 3%
$3,000,000+ 5%

It’s important to note that each portion of your home’s value is taxed at a unique rate. See below for an example B.C. land transfer tax formula:

Let’s assume you are purchasing a house worth $500,000:

$200,000 first marginal tax bracket × 1% marginal tax rate
= $2,000 land transfer tax

($500,000 property value – $200,000 lower marginal tax bracket = $300,000) × 2% marginal tax rate
= $6,000 land transfer tax

$2,000 + $6,000
British Columbia land transfer tax = $8,000

These calculations can sometimes be confusing, which is why we have created the British Columbia land transfer tax calculator. Simply input your details and you’ll instantly get an estimate.

There is a further 2% on residential property if:
  • The residential property is worth over $3,000,000
  • The property is mixed class (residential and commercial, etc.)
  • The property includes a farm that is used as the owner’s residence, up to 1.24 acres
Additional property transfer tax

If you are a foreign national, foreign corporation or taxable trustee, you are required to pay additional property transfer tax along with the B.C. land transfer tax if your property is located in specified areas of B.C. The specified areas that require an additional tax are:
  • Capital Regional District
  • Fraser Valley Regional District
  • Metro Vancouver Regional District
  • Regional District of Central Okanagan
  • Regional District of Nanaimo
To learn more about the additional property transfer tax, click here.
It’s a rule of thumb to budget at least 2-3% of the purchase price of your property to go towards closing costs (or use our closing cost calculator to get a more exact figure). Land transfer tax cannot be added into your mortgage and must be paid as soon as you take possession of the property from the seller on closing day.

In the process of purchasing a home? Check out Perch’s Guide to Buying a Home at any step of your home buying process to get access to free tools and resources that will help you before and after your closing date. You can also sign up today for a Perch profile to connect with a realtor or mortgage advisor today.
Annual property taxes are paid yearly and should not be confused with British Columbia land transfer taxes. Annual taxes are paid yearly to your municipal or rural tax office for every property you have a registered interest in to fund services in your area.
Transaction types include:
  • Agreement for sale
  • Life estate
  • Foreclosure
  • Lease
  • Fee simple
  • Court order
  • Quit claim
  • Lease modification
  • Amalgamation
  • Prepaid lease
  • Escheat
  • Forfeiture

Fair market value


Fair market value is the price that is paid by a purchaser to a seller for a property, including land and improvements, in the open market on the date of registration.

Open market transfers


A property transfer is considered to be in the open market when someone that is interested in purchasing the property can make an offer, like when a seller lists the property with a realtor or puts the property up for sale.

The purchase price will be considered the fair market value as long as it is sold in the open market and the property is registered within a few months of signing the sales contract.

Situations where you would need to verify that the purchase price is fair market value:
  • There was a significant change in value between the sale and registration date
  • The condition of the property changed between the sale and registration date
  • You didn’t purchase the property in the open market

Non-open market transfers


If a property transfer does not take place in the open market, fair market value will be determined by:
  • A recent independent appraisal
  • The BC assessment property valuation
BC assessment should not be used when:
  • Changes have been made to the property (e.g. rezoning) since the assessment
  • Market conditions in the area of the property have changed since the assessment
  • New or additional construction has been completed since the assessment
  • The land is classified as farm land