NEW LAW: B.C.’S LAND OWNER TRANSPARENCY ACT EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 30TH

by Mandy Badwal on Nov. 25, 2020

Business Real Estate Tax  Corporate Tax 

Summary: As of November 30, 2020, the Land Owner Transparency Act (“Act/LOTA”) will be in effect. The Act was created by the BC government as a measure to assist with tax evasion, fraud, and money laundering. The LOTA will be the first of its kind in Canada. Failure to comply under the Act can result in your interest not being registered and may result in fines.

The Land Owner Transparency Act

As of November 30, 2020, the Land Owner Transparency Act (“Act/LOTA”) will be in effect. The Act was created by the BC government as a measure to assist with tax evasion, fraud, and money laundering. The LOTA will be the first of its kind in Canada.

The Act has established the Land Owner Transparency Registry (“LOTR”) to keep an ongoing record of direct or indirect ownership of interests in land. The LOTA requires that all transferees of land must file a transparency declaration with the LOTR at the time of registration. Furthermore, a transparency report must also be filed if a “reporting body” owns an interest in land.

A “reporting body” means:
– a relevant corporation (ex: a corporation or limited liability company)
– a relevant partnership (ex: general partnership, limited partnership)
– a relevant trust (ex: bare trust/nominee)

Note – there are some exemptions relating to the above. This means not all corporate bodies (ex: government bodies), trusts (ex: charitable trusts) and partnerships (ex: limited partnerships) will be required to file a transparency report with the LOTR.

What does this mean for pre-existing reporting bodies? If you are deemed a reporting body under the LOTA, then a transparency report will need to be filed by November 30, 2021.

Compliance:

Failure to comply under the Act can result in your interest not being registered and may result in fines.

Relevant Dates to Note:

November 30, 2020 – LOTR comes into force

April 30, 2021 – the information in the LOTR is searchable

November 30, 2021 – pre-existing reporting bodies holding an interest in land must file a transparency report.

For further information and how the LOTA may affect you, feel free to call our office to speak to a business law lawyer in Vancouver and Surrey directly at 604-568-9444.

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