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B.C. real estate audits reveal widespread tax evasion

By Graeme Wood for Business in Vancouver

After reporting a record number of B.C. real estate audit assessments in 2018 – amounting to roughly $170 million – the Canada Revenue Agency is expected to receive a treasure trove of data from the B.C. government tying home ownership to income declarations.

The province is estimating it will collect $642 million over the next four years from the newly implemented BC speculation and vacancy tax, aimed at satellite families and those who leave their secondary urban homes empty for most of the year.

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Whether these 2019 budget estimates hold water will partly depend on what the government deems to now be the “most advanced auditing processes in the country,” thanks in part to a suite of new efforts to collect information on home ownership.

Complex audits are bound to follow the submission of speculation tax declaration forms, policy and tax experts suggest.

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