In May 2019 the BC provincial government passed the Land Owner Transparency Act (LOTA), which created the Land Owner Transparency Registry. This registry records the beneficial landowner of all real estate interest in British Columbia. A beneficial landowner is an individual or entity who owns or controls real estate indirectly, such as through a corporation, partnership, or trust. Often this is seen where an individual is on title owning a property in a fiduciary capacity by way of a trust that is beneficially owned by a corporation.
The LOTA requires these entities who hold an interest in real estate located in BC to file a Land Owner Transparency Report by November 30, 2021. Many of our clients hold properties in these entities. As such, they will all need to complete this report by the deadline.
On November 2, 2021, the government extended the filing deadline for the report for pre-existing owners to November 30, 2022. This extension only applies to pre-existing owners of prescribed interests in real estate who owned their interest on or before November 30, 2020. All purchasers of land after that date, who otherwise have an obligation to file, still have a November 30, 2021 deadline.
Why should you care? The maximum penalty is the greater of the following:
- $25,000 for individuals or $50,000 for a person other than an individual (e.g. relevant corporation); or
- 15% of the assessed value of the property
Additional information about the LOTA, forms, and filing requirements can be found at www.landtransparency.ca
Please contact your lawyer or notary to assist you with making the appropriate filings before the due date of November 30, 2022.