- You can claim your home owner grant after you receive your property tax notice and before December 31, even if you are not paying your taxes at that time.
- Home Owner Grants must be claimed every year by July 4th to avoid a 10% penalty on the grant amount.
- A tax payment does not have to be made to claim the 2017 Provincial Home Owner Grant.
- Complete the application form on the bottom of your tax notice or claim your grant online. (Your password is the “EHOG Password” shown on the top left of the invoice.)
- The grant does not apply to delinquent taxes or to any penalties, interest or user fees for water, sewer and garbage.
The Province has increased the threshold for the Home Owners Grant from $1.1 million to $1.2 million. For properties valued above the threshold, the grant is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value in excess of the threshold.
- This means the regular grant is eliminated on properties assessed at $1,354,000 or more;
- The additional grant is eliminated on properties assessed at $1,409,000 or more.
Claiming the Grant Retroactively
You may apply for the prior year grant retroactively, if you are the registered owner or eligible occupant and you met all residency qualifications as at December 31 of that year.
To apply retroactively, complete an Application for Retroactive Home Owner Grant, including a written reason why you missed the previous year’s December 31 deadline. Submit the application, with the supporting documents outlined on the form, to the municipal or provincial office that sent your property tax notice. They must receive it by December 31 of the current year.
The form is available on the provincial website and from your municipal or provincial property tax office.
Please note: Retroactive home owner grant claims are not allowed for the additional grant portion for first time applicants that are applying as a person with a disability under the Form B – Certificate of Physician and Property
Regular or Basic Grant
For 2016 the basic grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over the threshold. This means the regular grant is eliminated on homes assessed at $1,354,000 or more, and at $1,409,000 for seniors and others receiving the additional grant. You may qualify for either the regular or the additional grant but not both.
Owner is defined as the owner of a property registered at a land title office and includes a tenant for life under a registered life estate or a registered 99-year lease. The lessee must be responsible for paying the current year taxes under the terms of the lease.
To qualify for the regular grant:
- You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and ordinarily reside in British Columbia, and
- You must be the registered owner or eligible occupant (which includes an eligible occupant in an eligible apartment, housing unit, land cooperative or multi-dwelling lease parcel) of the home on which the grant is being claimed,
- You must occupy the home as your principal residence. Principal residence is the property where you live and from where you conduct your daily affairs (for example, pay your bills, file your income tax returns, receive your mail, have a telephone listing). It is the address where you reside when the grant is submitted and the property taxes are paid. A person can have only one principal residence.
The grant does not apply to second, rental and/or other owned properties. Spouses living together, including those in a common-law relationship for a continuous period of at least two years, may qualify for the home owner grant on only one residence in the province in a calendar year. Spouses living apart cannot claim a grant on second property they jointly or individually own, unless they have a notarized, written separation agreement, or a court order recognizing the separation.
For 2016, the additional grant is eliminated on homes assessed at $1,354,000 or more.
You may qualify for the additional grant if you meet the regular grant qualifications and any of the qualifications listed below:
- You are 65 or older in the calendar year. If your home is jointly owned, only one owner must be 65 in the year of the claim to qualify. The qualifier’s birth date and signature must be included on the application.
- You receive a disability allowance under the Employment and Assistance for
Persons with Disabilities Act. You must provide a Consent for Release of Information form, signed by you and your Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance representative, verifying you are receiving these benefits.
- You are permanently disabled or you have a disabled spouse or relative residing with you permanently. A signed medical certificate completed Form B by your physician must be attached to the grant application. Note: Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits do not qualify. The Form B is available from the District of Lake Country. If you have completed a Form B in prior years the District will have the approved form on file. Physicians do not approve the additional grant; however, they provide information that collectors use to determine eligibility.
- You are a veteran or spouse of a veteran who served in World War I, World War II or the Korean War, receiving an allowance under the War Veterans Allowance Act (Canada) or the Civilian War-related Benefits Act (Canada). Veterans must attach a confirmation letter from Veterans Affairs Canada to the application. Surviving spouses of deceased veterans who received either allowance at the time of death also qualify.
Low-Income Grant Supplement Program
Continuing from the 2007 tax year, the additional grant may be available to some low-income homeowners or occupants who, but for the high assessed value of their home, could receive the additional home owner grant. Key eligibility criteria are that the homeowner or occupant would qualify for the additional home owner grant amount (seniors, certain veterans and certain persons with disabilities) except that their home is assessed above the threshold, and meets low-income criteria.
Home Owner Grant Veterans Supplement
Continuing from 2012 is the veterans low income home owner grant supplement program available to qualifying low income veterans.
Northern and Rural Home Owner Grant
The N&R Home Owner Grant Program is a Provincial Government program designed to help homeowners with their property taxes. Continuing from 2011, a Northern and Rural Homeowner Benefit will be available for homeowners living outside of the Capital, Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley regional districts. To be eligible, homeowners must meet the requirements to receive the basic or additional homeowner grants. The benefit will be included with property tax notices in May, and eligible homeowners will not need to apply separately. For details about the program or to receive an application form, please contact the Home Owner Grant Administration. For additional information on the Provincial Home Owner Grant Program, visit the Ministry’s website or contact the Homeowner Grant Administration Branch at 1-888-355-2700 or the District of Lake Country at 250-766-5650.