Here’s what you need to know
Starting in 2023, a residential vacant unit tax will come into effect to be charged on non-principal residences left vacant for more than 184 days in a calendar year. The tax, equal to one percent of the assessed value of the home, encourages owners to occupy, sell or rent their properties to help increase the housing supply in Ottawa.
Residential property owners will be required to make an annual mandatory declaration on the occupancy status of their property during the previous year. The declaration will be simple and takes less than five minutes to complete.
Property occupancy, ownership and use may change from year to year. A mandatory annual declaration updates the property’s status to ensure the most reliable, complete and accurate data for taxation purposes.
The declaration form will be available online on January 1, 2023, for the 2022 occupancy period. More details will be provided later this year.
Principal residence or a tenanted property must declare but will NOT be subject to the tax.
If you have a non-principal residence that was vacant for over 184 days, it may qualify for an exemption.
Residents may have some questions about the program. Below are some points that may be of assistance:
- The annual declaration period will commence on January 1, 2023. Residents cannot declare now.
- Residential property owners will be required to declare annually, the status of their property in the previous year.
- The declaration will be simple and take less than five minutes to complete online.
- An annual declaration is required to ensure the City has the most reliable, complete and accurate data for taxation purposes.
- Impacted residents will receive a minimum of two direct communications leading up to the declaration period advising them how and where to declare.
- The online declaration form will become available on January 1, 2023.
- Alternate declaration methods will be available for seniors, those unable to declare online and those with accessibility needs.
- Owners who fail to submit a declaration will have their properties deemed vacant, and the tax will be added to their final tax bill.
- The VUT will incentivize residential property owners to return vacant units to the rental or sales market.
- Net revenue will be used to support affordable housing initiatives, helping address the housing crisis in Ottawa.
- Properties that are vacant for longer than 184 days will be subject to a 1% tax on their final tax bill.
- Certain exemptions will be allowed, and those can be found at www.ottawa.ca/vut.