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2024 British Columbia Budget Highlights

2024 British Columbia Budget Highlights

Synopsis
4 Minute Read

British Columbia Minister of Finance Katrine Conroy tabled the province’s 2024 budget on February 22, 2024.

British Columbia Minister of Finance Katrine Conroy tabled the ’s 2024 budget on Thursday, February 22, 2024. This year's budget, Taking Action For You, is focused on measures to help manage everyday costs, deliver more homes faster, strengthen health care and services, and build a stronger, cleaner economy.

No changes to corporate or personal income tax rates were announced.

Personal income tax measures

Tax targeting home flipping introduced

The budget proposes a new tax on the sale of real estate held for less than two years. A tax rate of 20 percent will apply to income from properties sold within 365 days of purchase. It will gradually decline to zero between 366 and 730 days.

The tax will apply to properties with housing units and properties zoned for residential use, including assignment sales. Individuals will be able to exclude $20,000 from this new tax if selling their primary residence within two years. As with the federal property flipping rules, exemptions will be available for certain life changes.

The new tax will become effective January 1, 2025, and can apply to properties acquired before the effective date.

BC Family Benefit Bonus introduced

Effective July 1, 2024, the province will offer the new BC Family Benefit Bonus (the bonus). The measure, to be delivered alongside the existing BC Family Benefit, will result in a 25 percent increase to both the annual benefit amounts and the income thresholds used to determine eligibility for the BC Family Benefit.

The bonus will be introduced as a temporary increase for the 2024-25 benefit year only and will be paid out beginning July 2024.

Climate Action Tax Credit increased

Effective July 1, 2024, the maximum annual Climate Action Tax Credit payment is increased to $504 (from $447) for an adult, $252 (from $223.50) for a spouse or common-law partner, and $126 (from $111.50) per child.

Single-parent families will continue to receive the spouse or common-law partner amount for the first child in the family. The income thresholds for when the credit begins to be phased out will also be increased.

Business income tax measures

Training tax credits extended

The training tax credit for employers will be extended until the end of 2027 (from 2024). The training tax credit for individuals will be extended until the end of 2025.

Clean Building Tax Credit deadline extended

The refundable clean building tax credit deadline is extended to September 30, 2027 (from March 31, 2027). A certificate can be given by a qualified person, and an application for certification by the Minister of Finance can be filed by this later date.   

Animation productions excluded from the regional and distant location tax credits

Effective June 1, 2024, animation productions will no longer be eligible for the regional and distant location tax credits.

Animation productions will remain eligible for the basic tax credits under the Film Incentive BC, the production services tax credits, and the digital animation, visual effects and post-production services tax credits.

Shipbuilding and ship repair industry tax credit extended

The shipbuilding and ship repair industry tax credit is extended until the end of 2026 (from 2024).

Oil and gas exploration expenses excluded from the mining exploration tax credit

Effective February 23, 2024, oil and gas exploration expenditures will no longer qualify for the mining exploration tax credit. This amendment is intended to align with the federal government’s recent changes to the mining flow-through share tax credit regime.

Other tax measures

Employer health tax exemption threshold increased

Effective January 1, 2024, the employer tax exemption threshold is increased to $1 million (from $500,000). The notch rate for remuneration above the new $1 million exemption and below the full rate threshold of $1.5 million is increased to 5.850 percent (from 2.925 percent).

Definition of registered occupier amended for Speculation and Vacancy Tax Act

Effective January 1, 2024, a person possessing residential property under a lease registered in the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia will be treated as a registered occupier of the property for speculation and vacancy tax purposes and, therefore, will be responsible for the tax.

Effectively, responsibility for the tax will shift from fee simple owners of a leasehold property to registered leaseholders who have control over how the property is used.

Registered leaseholders who are not already required to declare in 2024 will have to declare for the first time in 2025 based on the property use in 2024.

Property transfer tax measures

The following changes were announced to the Property Transfer Tax Act:

  • Effective April 1, 2024, the first-time home buyers’ exemption threshold is increased to a fair market value (FMV) of $835,000 (from $500,000), with the first $500,000 exempt from property transfer tax. The phase-out range is $25,000 above the threshold, with the complete elimination of the exemption at $860,000.
  • Effective April 1, 2024, the newly built home exemption FMV threshold is increased to $1,100,000 (from $750,000). The phase-out range is $50,000 above the threshold, with the complete elimination of the exemption at $1,150,000.
  • Effective for transactions occurring between January 1, 2025, and December 31, 2030, the exemption for new purpose-built rental buildings is enhanced. Generally, purpose-built rental buildings are those that are non-stratified and held as rentals on a monthly basis or longer for at least 10 years. Qualifying purchases will be exempt from the general property transfer tax. The residential portion of the building must be entirely used for rental purposes and contain at least four apartments.

Modern treaty national property taxation

Effective for the 2025 taxation year, the province will no longer require property taxation to apply on Nisga’a Lands or the Treaty Lands of a Modern Treaty Nation. Amendments to the governing legislation will enable modern treaty nations to self-determine property taxation on their respective treaty lands.

Amendments to the Assessment Act were also announced to better align provincial assessment rules with the unique aspects of Nisga’a Lands and Treaty Lands and Modern Treaty Nation governance. These amendments will come into effect on royal assent.

Other tax technical measures

Budget 2024 includes other technical amendments to various tax acts. Highlights include amendments to:

  • The Income Tax Act to harmonize with various federal measures, including the application of the amended general anti-avoidance rule and the requirement for payments over $10,000 to the Receiver General for Canada to be made electronically
  • The Property Transfer Tax to clarify the calculation of interest on amounts owing and to allow for the imposition of penalties on failure to provide required information
  • The Provincial Sales Tax Act to clarify the definition of software, reduce the availability of PST refunds where a person acquires goods for export, and allow PST refunds when a purchaser self-assesses PST but then returns the goods for a refund
  • The Provincial Sales Tax Exemption and Refund Legislation to clarify which clean energy manufacturing projects qualify for the production machinery and equipment exemption, as well to clarify the rules for when services are provided with taxable leased goods

Full details of the 2024 BC Budget can be found here.

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