Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Toronto Homeowner Faces $17,000 Bill for Missed Vacant Home Tax Declaration Deadline

A Toronto homeowner recently received a hefty bill of $17,530 from the City of Toronto for failing to submit a new vacant home tax form on time. This amount nearly doubles their annual property taxes. He was on vacation when the tax form was sent, missed the deadline for submission. He expressed frustration, stating he hadn’t committed any wrongdoing but now faces a substantial bill simply for failing to complete a form.

Another Toronto couple, found themselves in a similar predicament. Due to a health issue, they were staying with their son and missed the deadline. They now face a vacancy tax bill of $9,300, despite their property not being vacant.

The City of Toronto reported a response rate of 96 percent to the 811,825 vacancy tax forms sent out, indicating that approximately 35,000 residents did not respond. Some may have overlooked the forms, not received them, or mistaken them for scams.

The new vacancy tax aims to deter empty properties, imposing a tax of one percent of the property’s assessed value if left vacant. For instance, a $1,000,000 home would incur a $10,000 tax.

The city clarified that homeowners who missed the February 28, 2023, deadline and whose property was not vacant in 2022 can still declare occupancy status through the complaints process without incurring fines.

While the city estimates the new vacancy tax will generate approximately $60 million, residents like Martin stress the need for clearer communication and leniency in addressing missed deadlines.

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