The BC Home Owner Grant, in place since 1957, provides qualifying home owners with $570 applied to reduce education property taxes. There is an additional grant of $275 for home owners who are 65+ years, disabled, or veterans.

The following six grants are available (updated March 2014):

1. Basic Home Owner Grant

This is a grant of up to $570 for qualifying home owners. For 2014, the Basic Grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,100,000, and is eliminated on homes assessed at $1,214,000 or more. How to claim the homeowner grant.

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2. Additional Home Owner Grant

This is an additional grant of up to $275 for qualifying home owners age 65+, disabled persons or veterans, bringing the total Basic and Additional Grant amounts up to $845. The Additional Grant is eliminated on homes assessed at $1,269,000 or more.

For the Basic and the Additional Grants, spouses living together (married, common-law or same gender) can qualify for a grant on only one principal residence each year.

Spouses living apart can each claim a grant on their principal residence provided they have a written separation agreement or a court order recognizing their separation.

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3. Multiple Home Owner Grant

Multiple Home Owner Grants can be claimed by the owner on eligible:
     • apartment buildings
     • housing co-operative buildings
     • housing society buildings

The owner may be a corporation, co-operative housing association or housing society. To be eligible, the property must be a separate taxable parcel on a tax roll, with a building on it containing at least two apartments. An eligible apartment or housing unit must be occupied by an eligible occupant.

Multiple Home Owner Grants can also be claimed by the owner of eligible:
     • land co-operative residences
     • multi-dwelling leased parcel residences

The owner of an eligible building, land co-operative or multi-dwelling leased parcel must pass on the benefit of the grant to each eligible occupant.

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4. Retroactive Home Owner Grant

For qualifying home owners, a retroactive grant may be approved for the previous year only. Home owners must:
     •  apply in writing for an extension on or after January 1 and before December 31 in the year following the year the owner
        did not apply for the grant
     •  complete an application form with documentation supporting residency and reasons for missing the deadline

Applications must be made to the Municipal Tax Collector or to the Surveyor of Taxes if the property is in a rural area.

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5. Home Owner Grant Low-Income Grant Supplement

This program is aimed at qualifying low-income owners of homes assessed at more than $1,100,000. Home owners must meet the following conditions:
     •  be Canadian citizens or permanent residents 
     •  live in the home as their principal residence
     •  be the registered owner or eligible occupant of the home for which the supplement is being claimed
     •  have a maximum annual income of $32,000 
     •  have an adjusted net income of $30,000 or less in the 2013 income tax year or $32,000/year to receive a partial
        supplement amount, and be:
               • 65 years of age or older, or
               • a veteran, veteran’s spouse or widow/widower receiving veterans’ benefits, or
               • a person with a disability

The supplement is up to $845 in the Lower Mainland and up to $1,045 in northern and rural areas.

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6. Home Owner Grant Veterans Supplement

This program is provided to qualifying low-income veterans who are not eligible for the Additional Home Owner Grant. Veterans must:
     •  be Canadian citizens or permanent residents and live in BC     
     •  be under the age of 65
     •  live in their principal residence
     •  be the registered owner or eligible occupant of the home on which the supplement is being claimed
     •  be a former officer or non-commissioned member of the Canadian Forces who has been honourably discharged from
        service
     •  have a low income - of $30,000 or less in the 2013 income tax year of $32,000/year to receive a partial supplement
        amount

The grant is the difference between the Basic Grant ($570) and the Additional Grant ($275) to a maximum of $275.

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Note: The Home Owner Grant does not apply to second homes, summer cottages or rental properties. Further information is available from the Home Owner Grant Explanatory Notes section on the back of the tax notice.

   

How to claim the Home Owner Grant

Property owners eligible for the Home Owner Grant must:

• complete the application on the bottom of the property tax notice
• sign it
• return it to their local municipality by the close of business on the date the taxes are due

The application can also be completed online through the municipality’s Electronic Home Owner Grant (eHOG) service, where this is available.

To access this system, visit the municipality’s website and look for Electronic Home Owner Grant (eHOG). Property owners must then enter their 12-digit tax folio number and access code from the front of the tax notice. Property owners will receive confirmation number that the claim has been electronically received. Print and retain as proof of completion.

If a property owner doesn’t claim the Home Owner Grant

Property owners who qualify for the grant and do not correctly complete the application or fail to claim the grant will pay a penalty.

This is because the municipality will not receive the grant money from the provincial government. The property owner’s property tax account will show an unpaid amount and property owners will be charged a penalty set by the municipality – typically 5% – on the outstanding property tax balance. If there is still a balance owing on January 1, 2015, daily interest may also be charged.

  

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