Property Tax Deferment Programs
The Property Tax Deferment is a loan program administered by the Province of BC that assists qualifying BC homeowners in paying the annual property taxes on their homes.
Important Changes to the Provincial Tax Deferment Program for 2020 Deferment Applications
All applications will now be submitted directly to the Province through their online application portal.
Eligible home owners may apply to have the Provincial Government pay the current year’s residential Property Taxes for their principal residence. If you defer, the taxes paid on your behalf become a debt registered against your property title and interest accrues annually. Interest rates are set twice a year. To find out more information about the Provincial Property Tax Deferment program including eligibility requirements and interest rates, visit Defer Your Property Taxes webpage on the Province’s website.
The time to apply for Property Tax Deferment is after you receive your annual Property Taxes in the beginning of June. The deferment programs only cover the property tax portion of your bill. To avoid penalty, please do the following before the property tax due date:
For 2020, there are two Property Tax Deferment Programs available.
Regular Property Tax Deferment Program
This plan applies to eligible property owners who:
- Are at least 55 years old, disabled or widowed
- Have a minimum equity in their home of 25% of the assessed value
Learn more about qualifying for the Regular Program here.
Property Tax Deferment Program for Families with Children
This plan applies to eligible property owners who:
- Are financially supporting a dependent child under age 18
- Have a minimum equity in their home of 15% of the assessed value
Learn more about qualifying for the Families with Children Program here.
Important Information About Tax Deferment
It can take several months to process applications so you may not get a response from the Provincial Property Tax Deferment Office until after the Property Tax due date. If your application is received by the property tax due date but is approved after the due date, you won’t be charged a late payment penalty. However, if the Provincial Property Deferment Office determines you aren’t eligible for deferment or cancels your application for any reason, and it’s past the Property Tax due date, late penalties will apply.
You can defer your taxes as long as you own and live in your home and continue to qualify for the program. If your home is sold, your account with the Province must be paid in full. If you refinance your home, your mortgage holder may require the full repayment of deferred taxes upon refinance. If you are planning on selling or refinancing your home, please contact the Provincial Property Tax Deferment Office.
For further information about the Tax Deferment Programs you can:
- Contact the Provincial Property Tax Deferment Office at 888.355.2700
- Visit Defer Your Property Taxes webpage on the Provincial Government website
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Property Tax Deferment?
Property Tax Deferment is a loan program that assists qualifying BC homeowners in paying the annual property taxes on their homes. Presently 11,000 households defer property taxes under the program, which began in 1974.
Certain conditions must be met in order for a tax deferment application to be approved. For qualifications for Property Tax Deferment, click here.
What types of homes qualify for Tax Deferment?
You can defer taxes on the home where you live and conduct your daily activities. For most applicants, this will be the same property on which they claim the Home Owner Grant.
You must have a minimum equity in your home of 25 per cent of the assessed value, as determined by the British Columbia Assessment Authority. This means your mortgage and any other charges registered against your property can be up to 75 per cent of the assessed value. If your home is a manufactured home, it must be covered by a current fire insurance policy.
If you own your home under a long .term lease, or have a life estate interest in your home, you may also qualify for tax deferment.
What homes do not qualify?
Second residences such as summer cottages or property you have rented out do not qualify for tax deferment benefits.
How much of my property taxes can I defer?
After deducting the Home Owner Grant that you receive on your property, you can defer all or part of the unpaid balance of your home’s property taxes for the current year. If you rent out part of your home, you can defer taxes only on the part in which you are living.
Before applying for tax deferment, you must pay all property taxes, penalties and interest from previous years. User fees and utility charges on your property tax notice cannot be deferred.
How does a property owner get their deferred tax balance?
Statement of Account
We will issue an annual Statement of Account by early May each year. The statement is for your information only. It’s not an invoice for payment.
The Statement of Account includes the following account information:
- Your account balance
- Total amount deferred
- Total payments applied
- Total interest accrued
- Total fees accrued
- Interest rates applied
Your Statement of Account doesn’t include current year property taxes or any payments you may have made after March 31.
If you need to know the current outstanding balance on your loan, log in to your eTaxBC account or contact our office.
What is the City of Port Coquitlam's role in deferring taxes?
The city is notified by the province that a taxpayer has applied for tax deferment in 2020. The city will then notify the province of the amount that is to be deferred for the property.
How long can I defer my property taxes?
You can defer your taxes as long as you own and live in your home.
The deferred taxes must be fully repaid, with interest:
- before your home can be legally transferred to a new owner, other than your surviving spouse; or
- upon the death of the agreement holder(s). Repayment is made through the estate.
You may choose to repay all or any part of the deferred taxes and interest at any time without penalty.
Do fees apply?
- A one-time administration fee of $60 is added to new agreements. Do not remit this amount.
- A $10 annual renewal fee is added to accounts with approved renewal applications. Do not remit this amount.
- A statement of account is mailed in April and a renewal application is mailed in May to agreement holders.
What about interest charges?
Simple interest is charged on your deferment account at a rate not greater than two per cent below the prime rate at which the province borrows money. The Minister of Finance and Corporate Relations sets the interest rate every six months.
You will be charged interest from the date you apply to defer your taxes, or from the date your property tax is due, whichever is later.
Are there late payment penalties on the deferment program?
A late payment penalty will be charged if:
- the property owner is ineligible for the deferment program
- the deferment application is cancelled or withdrawn before approval
- if the application for deferment is made after September 30
How do I apply for tax deferment?
Applications are submitted online through eTaxBC.
If there is more than one registered owner of the property, only one owner needs to complete the full application. However, each registered owner or authorized representative must provide authorization after the application is submitted.
Learn more about applying online.
To apply, you’ll need:
- Your annual property tax notice
- Your social insurance number (SIN)
- Your date of birth
- Digital copies of supporting documentation, if necessary
The Province of BC will verify your identity with your SIN and date of birth. Your personal information is encrypted at the time of entry to ensure your information is kept secure.
The application also has a built-in equity calculator to confirm your eligibility. Having the following documents available may help you answer these equity questions:
- Current assessment notice from BC Assessment (issued in January)
- Current mortgage statement
- Line of credit statement indicating the credit limit
- Home insurance documents
Your deferred taxes and interest will be secured by a lien registered against your property in the Land Title Office or the Personal Property Registry. The lien will remain until the administration fee, deferred taxes and interest are fully repaid.
If, for any reason, your deferment application is withdrawn, cancelled or denied after the tax due date, or before this office pays the taxes on your behalf, your property taxes are overdue and late payment penalties will apply.
You must apply to defer property taxes before December 31 of the year the taxes are first billed.
Do I have to apply for deferment every year?
When you apply online, you can choose to set up automatic renewal. If you don’t set up automatic renewal, you’ll need to re-apply each year.
How is the province to help seniors that don't have computers, very aged etc. Are any applications being accepted via mail?
There are a couple of options for assisting applicants:
- You can encourage the applicants to ask a family member or friend for assistance.
- Applicants can call the Tax Deferment Office at 1.888.355.2700 to ask for a paper form.
- If applicants have an email address, the Tax Deferment Office can send a form via email, especially if the request is close to tax due date.
How do I find out if my application has been approved?
After you apply, you can check your application status online through eTaxBC using your:
- Confirmation number, or
- Roll number and last name
If your application is submitted before the property tax due date but is approved after the due date, you won’t be charged a late payment penalty. However, if we find that you aren’t eligible for deferment and it’s past the property tax due date, your property tax office may charge you a late payment penalty on the unpaid taxes.
Location and Mailing Address
First Floor, City Hall
2580 Shaughnessy Street
Port Coquitlam BC V3C 2A8
Business Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays)