Underused Housing Tax Canada – A Complete Guide

Underused Housing Tax Canada - A Complete Guide

Welcome to our complete guide on the Underused Housing Tax (UHT) in Canada! If you’re a property owner, particularly a non-resident or non-Canadian owner, this is an important tax that you need to be aware of. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with all the information and details you need to navigate through the UHT regulations.

In this blog post, we’ll start by explaining what exactly the Underused Housing Tax is and how it works. We’ll delve into who is eligible for this tax and highlight some of its benefits. And finally, we’ll walk you through the process of filing for the UHT and discuss any applicable exemptions.

So buckle up and get ready to become well-versed in all things related to the underused housing tax in Canada. Let’s dive right in!

What is the Underused Housing Tax (UHT)?

Underused Housing Tax Canada - A Complete Guide

The Underused Housing Tax (UHT) is a federal tax implemented in Canada to address the issue of non-resident property owners who are not utilizing their properties as intended. This tax, introduced by the government, aims to discourage underutilization and promote housing availability for residents.

One of the key aspects of UHT is its annual reporting requirement. Property owners must provide detailed information about their residential property, including its value and ownership details. The tax liability is calculated at one percent of the property’s value, which means that non-resident owners need to be prepared for this financial obligation.

Residential property owners fall into three distinct categories based on their UHT obligations. First, some owners may have no reporting or tax obligations if they meet certain criteria outlined by the government. Second, some are required to file a UHT return and pay the applicable taxes. Some owners need to file a return but are exempt from paying any taxes due to specific exemptions granted by law.

How Does the UHT Work?

The Underused Housing Tax (UHT) is a new tax implemented in Canada as of January 1, 2022. This annual tax applies to the ownership of vacant or underused housing and is set at a rate of 1% of the property’s value. While it primarily targets non-resident, non-Canadian owners, there are situations where Canadian owners may also be subject to this tax.

This summary provides some key information about the UHT, but more details and specific guidelines will be made available in the coming weeks. Property owners need to stay informed and understand their obligations regarding this tax.

The introduction of the UHT aims to address concerns related to housing affordability and availability by discouraging speculation and encouraging efficient use of residential properties.

By imposing an annual tax on underutilized housing, the government hopes to incentivize homeownership that contributes positively to local communities.

What are the Benefits of the UHT?

What are the Benefits of the UHT

The Underused Housing Tax (UHT) in Canada may seem like just another tax burden, but it comes with a few benefits. Let’s explore some of these advantages.

The UHT aims to address the issue of housing affordability and accessibility in Canada. By discouraging non-resident owners from leaving their properties vacant or underutilized, it helps free up housing stock for those who need it most. This can contribute to a more balanced real estate market and potentially lead to increased housing availability for Canadians.

Additionally, the UHT encourages property owners to actively participate in the rental market by generating income from their underused properties. Renting out vacant homes can not only provide an additional source of revenue for owners but also help alleviate rental shortages and reduce overall housing costs.

Moreover, the implementation of the UHT demonstrates a commitment to fair taxation practices. It ensures that all property owners contribute their fair share towards public services and infrastructure development.

While the UHT may come with certain obligations and responsibilities for property owners, its underlying objectives aim to create a more equitable and accessible housing landscape in Canada.

Who is Eligible for the UHT?

The eligibility criteria for the Underused Housing Tax (UHT) can be a bit confusing, but understanding who is required to file and pay the tax is crucial. According to Ball, certain groups are exempt from filing altogether, while others need to file but may not have to pay the tax.

Individual Canadians who directly own property fall under the category of “excluded owners” and don’t have to worry about filing for UHT. This means that if you’re a Canadian citizen and own residential property in Canada, you’re off the hook when it comes to this tax.

Excluded owners also include publicly traded Canadian corporations, specific types of trusts such as mutual fund trusts or real estate investment trusts, registered charities, cooperating housing corporations, municipal organizations and other public institutions and government bodies. Indigenous governing bodies or corporations are also considered excluded owners. Additionally, “prescribed persons” not yet defined by regulation may fall into this category.

It’s important to note that these excluded owners do not have any obligation to file for UHT. However, keep in mind that if you fall into one of these categories but do have an obligation to file due to other factors (such as owning multiple properties), you’ll still need to fulfill your reporting requirements.

Understanding your eligibility for the UHT is essential in ensuring compliance with the tax regulations set forth by the federal government.

How to File for the UHT Return?

To file for the Underused Housing Tax (UHT), owners must provide specific information about their residential property. This includes the owner’s legal name and type of ownership, such as whether they are an individual or a business entity. Additionally, the owner must disclose their social insurance number (SIN), individual tax number (ITN), or business number (BN-RU) to ensure accurate identification.

The property address and its corresponding identification used in the land registration system are also required. If applicable, owners must provide the property tax or assessment roll number associated with their residential property. Furthermore, it is necessary to indicate the type of residential property being reported.

In addition to these details, owners need to state the year they became an owner of the property and specify their percentage interest in it. If there are other co-owners with a 10% or greater ownership percentage, their names must be provided along with information on how ownership is divided.

To determine taxation accurately, owners should include both the assessed value of the property and its most recent sale price on or before December 31st. If any exemptions from UHT apply to them, owners must identify those exemptions when filing their returns.

Filing for UHT requires careful attention to detail and accuracy in providing all necessary information related to your residential property ownership situation

Exemptions for UHT

 underused housing tax canada

Exemptions for UHT can be quite complex, especially in ownership scenarios where individuals are not considered excluded owners. When it comes to indirect ownership involving corporations, trusts, or partnerships with Canadian underlying ownership, a UHT return is required. However, there is generally an exemption available for specified Canadian corporations, trusts or partnerships (found in Part 6 of the UHT form).

For non-resident owners, filing the UHT return is typically necessary. They may qualify for an exemption if certain criteria are met; otherwise, they will be subject to the tax. Non-residents who use their residential property as their primary place of residence or that of their spouse/partner or child studying at an educational institution may benefit from exemptions.

Moreover, exemptions may also apply based on factors such as availability, location, and use of the residential property. These exemptions provide relief for non-residents and help ensure fairness in the application of the Underused Housing Tax.

Navigating through these exemptions can be challenging due to various ownership scenarios and eligibility requirements. It’s advisable to seek professional advice or consult official resources to ensure compliance with UHT regulations while taking advantage of any applicable exemptions.

Remember that understanding your obligations and potential exemptions under the Underused Housing Tax is crucial in managing your tax liabilities effectively while maintaining compliance with Canadian tax laws


The Underused Housing Tax (UHT) is a significant development in Canada’s real estate landscape. It aims to address the issue of vacant or underused housing and ensure that properties are being utilized effectively. While it primarily applies to non-resident owners, there are also certain situations where Canadian owners may be subject to this tax.

The UHT comes with its benefits, including encouraging property owners to make better use of their residential properties and potentially increasing the availability of housing for those in need. By imposing a 1% tax on underutilized properties, the government hopes to incentivize owners to either occupy or rent out their homes.

In conclusion, understanding how the Underused Housing Tax works is vital if you own residential property in Canada. Compliance with reporting requirements ensures that you adhere to tax regulations while contributing toward maximizing housing utilization across our great nation.

FAQs – Underused Housing Tax Canada

FAQs - Underused Housing Tax Canada

1. What is Canada underused housing tax?

On January 1, 2022, the Underused Housing Tax, a 1% yearly tax on the ownership of abandoned or underutilized real estate in Canada, went into force. Typically, non-resident, non-Canadian owners are subject to the tax. It does, however, occasionally also apply to Canadian owners.

2.  What is the under use housing tax?

The non-resident non-Canadian owners of vacant or unused housing in Canada are often responsible for paying the underused housing tax. Most Canadians who own residential real estate are excluded owners and don’t have any responsibilities or liabilities under the UHTA.

3. How do you calculate underused housing tax?

The general rule for calculating the underused housing tax payable for a residential property for the calendar year if you are an affected owner on December 31 of a given year is to multiply 1% by the property’s taxable value before dividing the result by your ownership.

4. What is the underused housing tax for builders?

The newly introduced federal underused housing tax (the “Tax”) is a 1% yearly tax on the value of non-resident, non-Canadian-owned residences that are thought to be vacant or underused, with retroactive application to January 1, 2022. Corporations or partnerships with 10% foreign ownership are examples of non-Canadian entities.

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