Improvements to the VHT Programme

City Council has recently adopted CC17.1 - Immediate Actions to Address the 2023 Taxation year of the Vacant Home Tax which will overhaul the entire Vacant Home Tax (VHT) process. This is in response to Torontonians receiving, what to many, were surprise bills from the City telling them that they owe thousands of dollars for failing to declare their home vacant. Approximately 125,000 homeowners failed to declare their home occupancy status in 2023, indicating that this was a systematic issue that needed addressing.

City Council swiftly adopted the following measures:

  • Fees for failing to declare in the 2023 taxation year have been waived, along with refunds for residents who have already paid; and 
  • If a declaration or notice of complaint was not filed for 2023, the City will deem your property’s occupancy status as the same as in 2022

Reforms to the VHT programme will also be examined, ensuring that in future years the process is simple and fair.

  • The City will evaluate the feasibility of using utility data to deem a home’s occupancy status;
  • Improvements to communicating the declaration due date to residents, including the use of distinct multi-lingual mailings and partnerships with agencies and organizations;
  • Improving the user experience, such as adding receipts and digital email confirmation when declaring online;
  • Incorporating feedback from 311 and members of council, emphasizing the burden placed on seniors, residents experiencing barriers to internet access, and those who are not fluent in English; and
  • Eliminating late declaration fees for seniors and other vulnerable groups.

The ultimate goal is to ensure all our vacant units are being occupied by owners or tenants, eliminating any need for a VHT. Our office is always open to residents who have ideas on how to improve this programme; please do not hesitate to email our office at [email protected]

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