With the deadline to declare a property’s occupancy status for the 2023 taxation year set for February 29, 2024, the City of Toronto is reminding all residential property owners of the requirement to submit a declaration. As part of the Vacant Home Tax program, a declaration must be made each year, even if the owner resides at the property.
A property is subject to the Vacant Home Tax if it is a residential property that is not the principal residence of the owner or permitted residents, is unoccupied for more than six months and does not qualify for an exemption or is a property where no declaration is submitted.
Property owners or their authorized representative (for example, a relative or friend) can declare the occupancy status of a property through the secure online portal available on the City’s Vacant Home Tax webpage. Alternatively, owners or their representative can submit a paper declaration form available at Property Tax and Utility customer service counters at Toronto City Hall and all Civic Centres, or by contacting 311.
To make a declaration of occupancy status, homeowners will need their property assessment roll number and customer number, both of which can be found on their property tax bill.
For 2023, the tax is one per cent of the property’s Current Value Assessment. A fee of $21.24 will be charged for failing to submit a declaration of occupancy status by the deadline at the end of February next year.
Homeowners planning to spend an extended period away this winter are encouraged to submit a declaration of occupancy status before leaving.
In October, Toronto City Council approved an increase in the tax rate for vacant properties from one per cent to three per cent for the 2024 taxation year, which will become payable in 2025.
While all owners of properties classified within the residential property tax class must submit a declaration of occupancy status, the following are not subject to the Vacant Home Tax:
The goal of the Vacant Home Tax is to increase the supply of housing by discouraging owners from leaving their residential properties unoccupied – and instead making them available for rent or for sale.
Revenues collected from the Vacant Home Tax will be allocated towards affordable housing initiatives including the Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition (MURA) program.
Property owners who speak English as a second language can access information about the Vacant Home Tax and the online declaration form in many languages by using the translate tool on the City’s website.
Full details about the Vacant Home Tax such as eligible exemptions, how to make a declaration of occupancy status and the option to subscribe to e-mail updates, including reminders and notices of important due dates, are available on the City’s Vacant Home Tax webpage.
“Toronto is facing a generational housing crisis and the City must do everything it can to help residents who are looking for a place to live. The Vacant Home Tax is one tool the City can use to address the issue of housing supply, by discouraging homeowners from letting their residential properties sit empty while so many people search for long-term accommodation. And if homeowners choose to keep their properties vacant, they will pay a tax – with the revenues being used to fund affordable housing initiatives.”
– Mayor Olivia Chow
“Everyone has a right to housing, and the Vacant Home Tax furthers our goal to expand the availability of housing in Toronto. By incentivizing owners of vacant residential properties to make these available for rent or for sale, the City is using one of its policy levers to expand the supply of housing. And revenues from the tax will fund housing initiatives like the City’s Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition (MURA) program.”
– Gord Perks (Parkdale-High Park), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee
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