The Province of British Columbia introduced the Land Owner Transparency Act (“LOTA”) in May 2019 in the hopes of uncovering hidden ownership in real estate as a means to crack down on tax fraud, money laundering and close tax loopholes.
Effective November 30, 2020, all transferees of B.C. real estate must file a transparency declaration. The information will be held in the Land Owner Transparency Registry (“LOTR”), a searchable registry that maintains information about “interest holders” under the LOTA.
LOTA defines “interest holders” as a beneficial owner of a relevant trust, a corporate interest holder of a relevant corporation, or a partnership interest holder of a relevant corporation.
With limited exceptions, LOTA requires every registered owner of land in B.C. that is:
- a corporation
- a trustee or
- a partner of a partnership
(each a reporting body and collectively, reporting bodies)
to file a “Transparency Report” with the Land Title and Service Authority of British Columbia.
Existing reporting bodies with an interest in land as at November 30, 2020 need to file an initial transparency report by November 30, 2021. Filings must be submitted by a legal professional. There are penalties for late filing of the transparency report, so we encourage you to reach out to your legal advisors as soon as possible, if you meet any of the above conditions.
Additional information on the LOTA can be found on the Province’s website: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/real-estate-bc/land-owner-transparency-registry
This post has been prepared for general information purposes. It is not advice. The information presented may not fit your unique situation, please consult one of our trusted business advisors at RHN CPA for further clarification and interpretation of your circumstances.