Defer paying your taxes
To assist qualifying homeowners in paying annual property taxes on your principal residence, the Province of British Columbia offers a low-interest loan program: the Property Tax Deferment program.
You must wait until you receive your annual property tax notice — usually mailed by the end of May — before you can defer your taxes.
There are two deferment programs available, depending on your personal situation: a regular program, and a program for families with children.
1. Regular tax deferment program
This program could be for you if you are:
- 55 or older
- a surviving spouse of any age
- a person with disabilities
2. Families with children tax deferment program
This program could be for you if you:
- are a registered owner of the property
- have a minimum equity of 15% of the property's assessed value
- are financially supporting a child under 18 or a child at any age attending an educational institution
Did you know that if your application to defer your taxes is rejected by the Province, you will be assessed a penalty of up to 10% of the amount deferred?
Make sure you understand all of the requirements before you submit your application, to avoid paying an unnecessary penalty.
The registered value of your mortgage, line of credit, or other registered charges plus your current year taxes cannot exceed:
- 75% of your home's assessed value (Regular program)
- 85% of your home's assessed value (Families with Children program)
Check with your financial institution
Before you apply for deferment, please check with your financial institution to confirm:
- The registered value of your mortgage or line of credit, as it is often higher than the amount you owe
- Whether they will allow the Province to register a lien after their charge, as not all financial institutions do
Penalties may also apply in these circumstances
- If you sell your home, subdivide, refinance, or change owners before your deferment is approved, it may be canceled and penalties may apply
- If you cancel or withdraw your application for any reason after the property tax due date
- If you are found ineligible for the program after the property tax due date
How to apply
After you receive your tax notice, apply for deferment by submitting:
- payment for your utility charges
- payment for any outstanding taxes from prior years
- your deferment application, signed by all owners on title
- your homeowner grant application (if you didn't claim it online)
This must all be done before the tax deadline.
Are you qualified to apply?
Use the province's online calculators to find out if you're eligible to apply for a tax deferment program. Application forms are available at the end of the calculator.
Already in the program?
If you are already enrolled and you wish to continue to defer your property taxes, you must do the following:
- submit a renewal application for each subsequent year that you wish to continue to defer your property taxes before the tax due date
- claim your Home Owner Grant (if eligible) before the tax due date
- pay your utility charges before the tax due date
Renewal applications must reach Municipal Hall by the tax due date to avoid penalties of up to 10% on your current year's taxes.
2017 renewal applications will be mailed out by the Province in mid-May, along with your annual statement of account.