Understanding apportionment for new owners and developers

Apportionment is the re-distribution of the taxes from the parent (developer) property to the new child (new owner) properties.

Apportionment:

  • Generates a separate tax notice for each new strata unit
  • Allows new owners, if eligible, to apply for a Home Owner Grant for that year

2018 property tax due dates

Advance taxes:  February 2, 2018

Main taxes: July 4, 2018

Home owner grant: July 4, 2018

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How apportionment works

Each year, a number of strata developments are completed in Vancouver and in some cases, the new strata plan does not get registered in time (by November 30) to be included on BC Assessment’s annual assessment roll. The result is:

  • Only the original parent folio appears on the roll for the subsequent tax year
  • A tax notice is issued only to the developer as owner of the parent property

Apportionment requests can only be made by the owner of the parent property (developer).

The developer has the option to either:

  • Pay the taxes
  • Request that we apportion taxes to the individual strata units

When a strata unit is sold, the lawyer or notary will draw up a Statement of Adjustments (SA) at the time of conveyance. The SA will outline the proportionate share of taxes between the vendor (developer) and purchaser (new owner).

New owners may be advised by their lawyer or notary to contact us about taxes owing. However, the taxes are levied on the parent property folio only, as there is no individual tax account for the new strata properties.

 New owners should confirm with the developer whether an apportionment has been requested.

If a developer chooses not to apportion, any outstanding taxes after the due date will be subject to a 5% penalty.

It is important at the time of conveyance to determine who pays the taxes as part of the legal agreement between the vendor and the purchaser.

If the penalty and/or taxes still remain outstanding on the parent folio at the end of the year, we will distribute the balance to the child properties (new owners). The new owners will not be eligible to claim the home owner grant for the current year.

Information for developers

As a developer, you are required to:

  • Submit a written request to us
  • Remit the per-unit apportionment fee
  • Provide the basis of allocation of the taxes
  • Pay all arrears, advance taxes, penalty, or interest on the parent folio

Requests are reviewed for approval by the Collector of Taxes.

You may choose to apportion for:

  • The convenience of being able to provide each new owner with an individual tax notice for their strata unit, which streamlines the conveyance procedures and reduces the need for new owners to contact us to determine what taxes you owe, if any
  • Makes the home owner grant available to new owners, which may be an attractive benefit to some purchasers   

Apportionments are:

  • Done for all child folios of the same property class
  • Will not be done for only a portion of the strata units within a property class

All classes of property qualify for apportionment of taxes.It is most often applicable for Residential Class 1 due to the ability to claim the home owner grant by new strata owners, but may also be useful for Business and Other Class 6.

Multi-class properties may also be apportioned on a per class basis, where applicable.

The following criteria must be met prior to an apportionment of current year taxes being considered by the Collector of Taxes:

  • Written request is received from registered owner of a property that is on the current year tax roll (i.e. the parent folio)
  • The request must be received by the City between December 1 of the previous tax year and September 30 of the current tax roll year
  • The subdivision plan must be filed in the Land Titles Office after 30 November of the previous year and before 1 June of the current year (required by the Home Owner Grant Act)
  • A confirmation that there are no outstanding assessment appeals on the parent property
  • The per folio fee, established by Council, is paid
  • The basis of allocation has been provided by the requestor and is in accordance with the Vancouver Charter
  • Any taxes in arrears, interest, advance taxes or penalties are paid in full. There are current taxes outstanding to apportion
  • Each apportionment request will be reviewed by the Collector who will determine whether an apportionment will proceed

Note:

  • If the written request, basis of allocation, and fees are not received by the Collector prior to the July due date, penalties will apply
  • If the apportionment request is not approved, and there is an outstanding amount on the due date, penalties will apply 

What is meant by a ‘written request’?

The written request may be a letter delivered to the Property Tax Office, a faxed or e-mailed copy of a letter, which must be signed by a registered owner as listed on the current year tax roll (the parent folio).

Purchasers may not request the Collector to apportion.

The advance tax amount must be paid before an apportionment request can be approved. Any penalties resulting from late payment of the advance tax amount must be paid in full.

If the taxes on the parent folio have been paid by the due date in July, there would not be any amounts to apportion.

If the taxes have been not been paid on the parent folio, penalties will apply.

An apportionment request will be considered only if the penalties are paid.

 

The fee for apportionment is set annually by Council.

Currently, the fee is $40 per child folio.

For example, a single parent folio is redeveloped into 10 new child folios: the fee is $40 x 10 for a total of $400.

As the fee is subject to change, confirm the current cost with the Property Tax office.

As required under the Vancouver Charter, the parent folio’s tax notice will always be issued, regardless of whether an apportionment is requested and approved.

If an apportionment request has been received and is approved by the Collector by May 1, owners may receive an apportioned tax notice as early as the end of May with a July due date.

For all other approved apportionment requests, the new owner's tax notices will be issued as soon after mid-July as possible.

What will be apportioned:

  • All current taxes and other current year charges, after the advance taxes
  • All other arrears, penalty and interest have been paid

Examples of other charges include:

  • Garbage
  • Recycling
  • Water and sewer
  • Local improvements

Information for new owners

You should check with your lawyer/notary to determine their proportion of the taxes and whether the developer has made an apportionment request.

If a request has been made, have your lawyer contact us to determine the status of that request.

Pending

If the status of an apportionment request is pending, we will accept payments on the parent folio before an apportionment has been completed.

Any amount paid by the new strata owner will be transferred to the appropriate child folio*.

* If you intend to claim a home owner grant, you may choose to leave a portion of the taxes unpaid (equal to the home owner grant claim amount) to ensure the full benefit of the grant is realized.

Approved

If the status of an apportionment request is approved, we do not recommend payment on the parent folio.

Tax notices to the new strata owners will be issued and payment can then be applied directly to the child tax account.

The Vendor’s Statement of Adjustments (VSA) forms part of the legal agreement between the vendor and the purchaser, and is unique for each transaction. In some cases, the vendor will pay the taxes to us, and in other cases it will be the purchaser (typically it depends on who owns the property on the due date).

The VSA allocates the tax notice between the two parties based on the portion of the year that each party owned the property.

To fully understand your VSA and understand who will be paying the taxes to us, talk to your conveyancing lawyer or notary.

Example:

A property changes hands on May 1. The vendor is responsible for the first 120 days (1 Jan – 30 April), and the purchaser for 245 days (1 May – 31 December) using 365 days as the denominator.

Taxes can be paid to us by any of the parties.

Claiming a home owner grant?

If you, as a new owner, intend to claim the home owner grant, please advise your lawyer or notary to ensure there are outstanding taxes to be paid.A grant cannot be claimed against a property which does not have taxes owing.

Apportionments are a cost-recovery service performed at the request of and benefit for developers.

The Collector is responsible for collecting the taxes. The apportionment process does not change the total amount of taxes to be collected by us.

The content of this page is subject to change without notice

This information is to the best of our knowledge complete and up to date.

However, we assume no responsibility should any information be inaccurate or misleading as a result of negligence or otherwise.

We shall not be estopped from enforcing its rights to the fullest, as though this information had not been relied upon. 

Remember to claim your home owner grant online

You must claim your home owner grant each year, even if you are paying through your mortgage or deferring your payment. 

Financial institutions no longer accept home owner grants.

Starting 2018, there is no option to mail home owner grants. Don’t have computer access? With your permission, anyone can apply on your behalf. 

Claim your grant online