There are no restrictions on non-residents purchasing property
in British Columbia. There is no citizenship requirement to own
land in B.C. There are restrictions on how much time may be spent
in B.C. each year as a non-resident property owner. There are
also income tax considerations to be aware of when a non-resident
rents out a property or sells a property in British Columbia.
Working with a Realtor
For important information on working with a realtor please see
Working With a Real Estate
Salt Spring Island, largest of the Canadian Gulf Islands just
north of the American San Juan Islands, has become a world destination
for International buyers seeking a relaxed west coast lifestyle;
a gentle 'cool Mediterranean' climate; wonderful boating waters;
and an eclectic and stimulating community that is friendly and
rich in culture. Salt Spring Island offers rural living with no
compromise in services locally available.
Non-residents may move permanently to Canada and may operate a
business after obtaining legal status by qualifying for immigration.
New Canadian immigration rules have been in effect since June
2002. There are five main categories under which individuals may
apply for permanent residence to Canada under a point system.
For more information about immigrating to Canada, go to http://www.jamesnorris.com or http://www.sjlaw.ca or http://www.victorialaw.com
or contact an Immigration office close to you.
Non-residents may stay in Canada for less than 180 consecutive
or cumulative days in a calendar year. For this reason, many international
buyers have bought second homes on Salt Spring Island and have
adopted a '6 month here and 6 month there' lifestyle.
Non-residents who overstay in Canada can be deemed to be Canadian
residents for Canadian income tax purposes and be taxed in Canada
on their world income, even if they have paid taxes in another
Non-residents who rent out a property must, by law, remit 25%
of their monthly revenue to Revenue Canada in anticipation of
filing a Canadian Income Tax Return on their rental 'business'
by the end of the next tax year. Timely filing of the required
form confirming a net loss on the rental investment may preclude
the requirement for the 25% remittance.
When a non-resident owner sells Canadian property, Canadian law
requires a 25% holdback of the proceeds of the sale pending filing
of a Canadian Income Tax return by the end of the next tax year
calculating Canadian tax owed on any Capital Gain. Alternatively,
the owner may obtain a 'Clearance Certificate' that may be applied
for in advance of the sale. This Certificate may reduce the holdback
to a percentage of the capital gain instead.
There is a tax treaty in effect between Canada and many countries,
including the U.S., which allows a credit against the tax owed
in Canada in the amount of what tax has been paid in the treaty
country on any capital gain. Numerous countries have signed tax
conventions with Canada. For details on how this may affect your
status with regards to income taxation, please consult with your
Caution: Regulations change and exchange rates fluctuate
on a regular basis. This information is provided as a guideline
only. For details on how any of this information may affect your
taxation or legal status, please consult with your tax adviser
or nearest immigration center.