Subject: The Underused Housing Tax Return and Election Form (UHT-2900):
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As it was first announced in the 2021 federal budget, Canada’s federal Underused Housing Tax (UHT) is now a reality. The CRA’s newly released Underused Housing Tax Return and Election Form (UHT-2900) is very complex: It has 9 parts plus 3 pages of notes. The form involves a number of complexities and requires a thorough understanding to ensure it is filled out appropriately. The deadline for filing and paying your 2022 UHT return is consistent with your personal tax filing deadline, which, in the current year, is May 1, 2023, as April 30, 2023 falls on a Sunday. If you are unsure if you or your corporation is required to file this return or pay the UHT, you should discuss with us to confirm or clarify your situation.
Who will need to file a UHT return?
All “affected owners” will need to file unless you are an “excluded owner”. The affected owners include:
1) all non-Canadian, non-permanent residents who are an owner of a residential property located in Canada, such as visitors, work-permit holders, and international students;
2) all Canadian or permanent residents if they own residential property as a partner in a partnership or a trustee, including bare trust, except for personal representative of a deceased individual; and
3) all non-Canadian corporations or Canadian controlled private corporations (CCPC) or other private corporations, including nominee corporations and beneficiary corporations that are owners of residential property in Canada in any capacity.
You must file, but what exemptions exist to allow the affected owner to not pay the tax?
There are a number of exemptions to the UHT, where you still are required to file, but the individual/corporation is exempt from the tax. These situations include:
1) Exemptions for primary place of residence by the owner or a non-Canadian, non-permanent child on a Canadian study permit;
2) Exemptions for qualifying occupancy – e.g., renting out at a fair rent or occupying by a spouse on Canadian work permit or a direct relative who is a Canadian or permanent resident for more than 180 days in a year;
3) Other exemptions: including specified Canadian corporation, a vacation property in an eligible area of Canada, not suitable for year-round use, seasonally inaccessible, uninhabitable during the calendar year due to renovations, newly constructed, first year of purchase, etc.
The UHT is 1% * the taxable value of the property * the percentage of ownership.
There are substantial penalties for not filing the UHT return by the required deadline (May 1, 2023). These are a minimum of:
· $5,000 for individuals; and
· $10,000 for non-individuals (corporation)
If a UHT return for a calendar year is not filed by December 31 of the following year, you may also lose certain exemptions for the UHT calculations and be subject to pay the tax, regardless of whether the exemption would be valid.
As always, we are here to assist you with your filing and tax compliance requirements. If you are unsure of your requirement to file or if you would like our assistance in filing the appropriate return, please do not hesitate to contact our office for further details.
The Underused Housing Tax Return and Election Form (UHT-2900):
For more details per CRA website:
For IMPACT CPA’s previous presentation on the federal UHT:
Ben Seto, FCPA, FCA, LPA
Wei Hua, CPA, CA, LPA, CPA (US), MBA
Henrik Andersen, CPA, CA
Andrew Seto, MBA, CPA, CMA