Non-Resident: Taxes and Fees

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Non-Resident: Paying Taxes and Fees on Whistler Real Estate

The purpose of this page is to show you the taxes and fees that may be due when buying, incurred when owning, and payable when selling your Whistler property. In addition, non-residents of Canada may be comparing Whistler to other locations in British Columbia, and as such the taxes are not the same, so it starts to be confusing.

Whistler is still exempt from the ban on Foreign Buyers and will be through to 2027. Please note, that this page was compiled by Marion Anderson, the realtor. It is recommended that you seek professional accounting and legal representation. This page is an overview and not intended as legal or accounting advice.

Non-Resident Tax Table

The following is an overview of the taxes that may be payable when buying, owning, and selling a Whistler property. There are pages and pages of information about these taxes on the Government of Canada website. However, to provide you with an overview, this page focuses on the non-residents of Canada buying, owning, and selling Whistler real estate. For clarification, the Whistler properties described may be:

  • residential property
  • residential property zoned for nightly rental
  • residential property zoned for monthly rentals
  • residential property with a Phase 2 zoning, typically a hotel condominium.

Non-Resident Tax and Fees Table

Table to show the taxes and fees that may be due for non-residents of Canada. The property the chart refers to is residential and residential property zoned for nightly rental.
TimingTax Imposed byTaxProperty TypeTimingExemptions/Deductions
BuyingFederal Government of CanadaGoods & Services Tax (GST) all property one-timeYes
BuyingProvincial Government of BCProperty Transfer Tax (PTT)all propertyone-timeNo
BuyingProvincial Government of BCProvincial Sales Tax (PST) on Furnitureall propertyone-timeYes
OwningResort Municipality of WhistlerProperty Taxesall Propertyannual No
OwningResort Municipality of WhistlerTourism Whistler (TW) Feesproperty on Resort Landmonthly Yes
OwningStrata CouncilStrata Feesstrata developmentsmonthlyNo
OwningStrata CouncilSpecial Assessmentsstrata developmentsas necessaryNo
OwningFederal Government of CanadaGST on change of useproperty with nightly rental zoningevery time there is a change of useYes
Owning Federal Government of CanadaCollection of GST and submitting it to the Canadian Governmentnightly rental property generating rental incomemonthly, quarterly, annualNo
OwningFederal Government of CanadaGST on a major renovation/rebuildall propertyone-timeYes
OwningFederal Government of CanadaWithholding Tax on nightly rental incomenightly rental property generating rental incomemonthlyNo
OwningFederal Government of CanadaFile an annual tax returnnightly rental property generating rental incomeannualNo
OwningFederal Government of CanadaUnderused Housing Tax (UHT)residential with or without nightly rental zoningannual Yes
SellingFederal Government of CanadaTax on Net Capital Gainall propertyone-timeNo
Selling Federal Government of CanadaFile a return in your country of residence disclosing the tax paid on the capital gain.all propertyone-timeNo
Selling Provincial Government of BCHome Flipping Taxall propertyon-timeYes


If my Whistler property is zoned for nightly rentals is it still classified as a Residential Property?

Yes. The “simplified” classification for purchasing real estate in Whistler is basically: residential, residential with zoning for nightly rental, and nightly rental with 56 days allocated for owner use.

My Whistler property is residential with a suite that is rented monthly, do I submit GST each month on this?

No, because GST does not apply to monthly rentals, only nightly rentals.

Do Canadians have to submit GST on their monthly rental income properties in Whistler?

No. There is no GST collected on monthly rental income.

What is the Capital Gain Tax Rate for Non-residents owning in Whistler?

Currently, 50% of the net capital gain. Effective June 25, 2024 non-resident Sellers with a net capital gain of more than $250,000, will be taxed on 2/3rds or 66.6% of the gain as income. Less than net $250,000 tax is 50%.


GST on the Purchase

Goods and Services Tax (GST) GST is a federal tax on the purchase of goods and services. If GST payment is due on the sale of a property, it is due on the completion date of the sale and is a one-time payment. The current GST rate is 5% of the purchase price. GST applies to all real estate transactions. However, some properties, such as “used” residential housing, are exempt from GST.

In addition, if you are buying a residential property that is zoned for nightly rental and you intend to rent out your property nightly, then the GST may be exempt. For more details on this, please read the blog post: GST Buyer Information.

From the perspective of the Buyer’s realtor, it is up to the Seller to inform their realtor if GST is exempt on the property, or not. This exemption would be shown in the listing data. The Buyer’s agent will require the Seller to warrant that the GST is exempt or not exempt on the Contract of Purchase and Sale.

Property Transfer Tax (PTT)

PTT is a BC provincial tax and applies any time there is a change of ownership registered with the Land Title Office, payable to the Government of British Columbia. When you buy a property you will be required to pay the PTT on the completion date of the sale. This is a one-time charge.

In addition, if you decide that you want to add or delete someone to/from the title after the completion date, then you may be subject to a portion of the PTT. There are many rules in place with PTT so best contact a professional accountant or lawyer.

The property transfer tax rate is:

  • 1% on the first $200,000,
  • 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000,
  • 3% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000, and
  • if the property is residential, a further 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $3,000,000 (effective February 21, 2018).

For more information, please link through to my blog on How to Calculate PTT

Provincial Sales Tax on Furniture

When buying a property in Whistler and furniture is included, Provincial Sales Tax (PST) is applicable. This 7% PST is charged on used furniture and has to be accounted for. This tax will be of most concern to the buyer who is financing the purchase. The mortgage company will not finance furniture. Therefore if the furniture was included in the sold price this money has to be adjusted or deducted from the sale price. For more on this topic, please read the blog, Provincial Sales Tax on Furniture.


Property Taxes

The Resort Municipality of Whistler’s annual property taxes will be noted on the listing data for each property. These taxes may increase every year based on the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) budget increases. The BC Assessment occurs annually and the owner is notified in early January of any increase and decrease in the assessed value of their property. The value is based on the sales in the area in the previous year. Click the link for more insight into BC Assessment.

However, it is the RMOW’s annual budget that determines whether as a homeowner, how much your taxes will increase annually. The municipal annual taxes are due to be paid on July 1st. The annual property tax payable is determined using a tax rate set annually by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) based on the assessed value.

From the Government of BC’s website: “All municipalities must adopt a property value tax bylaw each year. The tax bylaw must be adopted after the annual budget (financial plan). Based on the tax revenue requirements in the budget, the municipality will set its municipal tax rates to raise the appropriate revenue from the nine different classes of property.”

For more information please link to my blog, How are Whistler Property Taxes Calculated?

Tourism Whistler (TW) Fees

If you own a property that is close to the ski slopes, Whistler Village, or the Whistler Mountain base at Creekside, you will notice on the listing data sheet there are TW fees. To categorize these properties, we say that they are “on resort land”. This terminology does not relate to First Nations or Aboriginal Lands. It was a term created by the council of the day back in the eighties and has stuck.

When Whistler started major developments in the eighties, the municipality realized that it needed to spend marketing dollars to encourage tourists to come to Whistler. Therefore the TW fees were charged to owners of property on resort land.

The monthly fee is now administered by Tourism Whistler. Not all owners of residential property zoned for nightly rental rent out their property. There is a modest fee for residential ownership and a higher, but still modest fee for those renting out their property on a nightly basis.

Strata Fees

If you are buying in a strata development, then there will be monthly strata fees. The US version is the Home Owner Association. Strata fees can cover the annual operating costs for common areas, for example, insurance, snow clearing, lighting, landscaping, etc. The monthly strata fee will be noted on the listing data. However, it is essential to read the strata documents to determine what exactly you are left to pay for.

The Depreciation Report may accompany the strata documents and this should alert you to the work that will be needed to be done on the building. Please read my blog, Understanding the Depreciation Report for valuable information.

Special Assessments

A Special Assessment or a Special Levy can occur at any time. This typically happens when major work is looming and there is not enough money to cover the cost. These assessments can also happen if there is an emergency repair that needs to be done. This means that you may be called upon to pay up on short notice for work to be done.

Every Buyer loves a low strata fee. However, that typically means that not enough money is being collected and set aside in the Contingency Fund for such work or emergencies. If that is the case with the strata you are considering, budget accordingly.


Change in the Use of Your Property

From the Government of Canada’s website, “Changes in the Use of Your Property: When there is a change in use of a property you own, you may be considered to have sold all or part of your property even though you did not actually sell it. The following are some sample situations:

  • “You change all or part of your principal residence to a rental or business operation
  • You change your rental or business operation to a principal residence”

Example 1) You buy a residential property that is also zoned for nightly rental, and like the sellers, you are going to keep the property residential and not rent it out as much as you can. However, you decide that you need to rent the property out and earn as much income as you can. You have now enacted a change of use.

Example 2: You buy a Whistler property that is zoned for nightly rental. The sellers have been earning over $30,000 in income from their property and you want to do the same. Therefore the GST is deferred, meaning the buyer does not pay GST on the sale price. The family situation changes and you end up using the property for family rather than renting it out. You have enacted a change of use.

For more information, read the blog post, GST: Change of Use

GST on Nightly Rentals

When you purchase a property with the intent of generating rental income, you apply for a GST number (unless you already have one) prior to the completion date. The Government asks you at the time of application, whether you want to submit the GST collected on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Please note, GST is not deemed as income.

When you retain a property manager, they will generally charge and collect the GST on the nightly rentals. The property manager will then remit the GST collected directly to CRA monthly.

Collecting and Submitting GST

The person who collects the GST on the revenue and submits it to the CRA files a return quarterly.

  • GST on revenue is called output tax.
  • GST on expenses is called input tax.
  • Output tax minus input tax is what is submitted.

Note, some rental managers who are dealing with many owners, may submit all the output tax on their own GST number. If that is the case, then when the owner files their quarterly or annual GST return, they claim the GST on their expenses. This is where having a rental property manager taking care of this for you, can relieve you from this responsibility. Again, it is vital to have an accountant guiding you through this process.

GST Threshold

When you own a property that has zoning for nightly rental and you rent your property nightly, there is a threshold of $30,000 gross revenue per year before you need to start collecting and submitting GST to the Canadian Government. At the $30,000 gross revenue, the government decides you are running a commercial operation. This threshold applies to any business in Canada.

However, to be clear, anyone earning income under $30,000 must declare their net income. In addition, the word revenue is not the same as income which is not the same as net income. Did I mention, that you need to seek professional advice about GST?

Once you exceed that threshold, the Government of Canada tax authority, called the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) expects you to declare your net income on nightly rentals. It also expects you to file a regular GST filing. The $30,000 threshold also has a bearing on whether you need to obtain a GST number for filing.

Note: Collecting GST on rental income is separate from paying tax on income, and all of that is different from paying GST on the purchase of your property.

GST on a Major Renovation

This is a topic that should be researched when you are considering a major renovation/rebuild. The Government of Canada says that any renovation that affects 90% of the property may enact 5% GST to be due on the property. How that 90% is calculated is the key.

This page, written by realtor, Marion Anderson was designed to give you just enough information so that you can raise your concerns with a professional. In this case, I would suggest that the architect or builder calculate how close you would be with your renovation to raise the interest of the CRA. Then review their findings with your accountant.

The Government of Canada has a page of information on this topic, under “Point 2. Determining whether a building has been substantially renovated:

Withholding Tax on Nightly Rentals

As a non-resident of Canada, you pay income tax on the net income you receive from sources in Canada. The type of tax you pay and the requirement to file an income tax return depend on the type of income you receive.

There are tax considerations based on whether you own the property personally, in a partnership, or in a Trust. This real estate site will not go into each of these but will focus the page on personal ownership.

In essence, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) wants non-residents who have taxable income to pay tax on that income annually. However, the CRA wants to collect and hold 25% of your gross income monthly, so that if you skip the country, at least they have received a portion of your income that would be greater than the tax owing.

When your property earns income it must be collected and remitted at the source of payment. This source of payment is the person or company that receives the money from the guest. For example: if you hire a rental management company they will take care of this for you. Their job is to withhold 25% of the gross income and submit it to the CRA, each month. This can be considered a pre-payment of taxes. This 25% is usually more than the actual tax liability. However, this amount is held by the CRA until the non-resident files their Canadian income tax return by April 30th.

The Withholding Tax of 25% on gross revenue can be reduced to 25% of net income after expenses. It requires the non-resident and the rental manager to co-sign the NR6 form. This NR6 form is then submitted to CRA for approval prior to the start of the applicable year.

Actual income tax is determined when the income tax return is filed by your Canadian accountant and assessed by the CRA. Typically the rental management company takes care of working with the Whistler accountant to submit this annually.

Monthly Rental Income Property

This section pertains to a:

  • Residential house, townhome, or condominium rented to a tenant on a month-to-month lease.
  • Residential house with a rental suite.

If the non-resident owns any property that is rented on a month-to-month basis, as described in the two examples in this section, you will have to submit a monthly 25% withholding tax to the CRA. Remember, the purpose of the withholding tax is so that the government holds some of your earnings until you file your annual tax return. At that time, your accountant calculates your tax liability compared to the withholding tax in the possession of the CRA.

The owner files an annual Personal Income Canadian Tax return reporting any rental income on April 30th. Remember to keep all receipts and expenses incurred with your rental.

It would be recommended that in this situation you retain the services of a licensed property manager. The property manager will take care of the submission of the 25% of your rental income sent to the CRA. In addition, the property manager will check your house for insurance purposes, and handle any of the tenant’s concerns or issues.

Note: There is no GST charged on monthly rentals, therefore, there is no GST to submit to the Government.

Filing Taxes

Filing an annual Canadian Tax return depends on whether your property is generating income.

  • When you own a property that is zoned for nightly rentals and you are generating revenue then you must file a tax return by April 30th every year.
  • If you own a property and you are generating income from a tenant who has rented the house or a suite in the house monthly, you must file a tax return by April 30th each year.
  • If you are not generating revenue then you do not have to file an annual tax return, as there is no income to report.

Underused Housing Tax – annual

This is the latest federal tax and it came into force on January 1, 2022. This is a complex tax, so for simplicity purposes:

  • UHT can be calculated as 1% of the BC assessed value of the property.
  • UHT tax is levied against anyone who owns a residential property in Whistler and uses it less than 28 days a year. This means a residential property that is either zoned or not zoned for nightly rentals.
  • UHT tax, if payable is due on April 30th.

Note, there have been lots of issues in Whistler as there are properties zoned for nightly rental and also quarter-share properties. In essence, we are patiently waiting for a ruling from the federal government that addresses the Whistler issues. Please read my blog post on Understanding UHT.


Capital Gain Tax Rate

When you sell your Whistler property, the CRA wants their cut. Currently, a non-resident of Canada is taxed on 50% of the net capital gain. Effective June 25, 2024 non-resident Sellers with a net capital gain of more than $250,000, will be taxed on 2/3rds or 66.6% of the gain as income. Less than net capital gain of $250,000 is taxed at 50%. It does not matter the use of the property, it can be zoned residential, recreational, or revenue-producing.

This is the same tax rate for residents who own a property that is not their principal residence.

Tax on the Disposition of Property

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is concerned that the non-resident may sell their Whistler property, take the proceeds out of Canada, and never pay any tax due on the capital gain. It would be difficult for the CRA to collect tax from a non-resident who no longer has any assets in Canada.

Any gain on the disposition of property in Canada will be subject to tax in Canada. This tax is levied in 2 parts. However, there 3 significant stages to this whole process:

Stage 1: A Withholding Tax in the range of 25% to 50% of the gross proceeds of sale held by the Seller’s solicitor at the time of disposition of the property.

Stage 2: Within ten days of the date of sale, the Seller is required to file an application for a “Compliance Certificate”. This application includes a calculation of the capital gain on the sale proceeds. It can take over 2 months to obtain this Compliance Certificate and can take much longer in some cases. However, once the Compliance Certificate is provided by the CRA the Seller’s solicitor can pay a Withholding Tax to the CRA and release the remaining funds to the Seller.

Stage 3: There is a final calculation of the tax on capital gain and other taxable income as reported on the personal income tax return which is due after calendar year-end and must be filed by April 30th.

Note: If the non-resident Seller is buying another property in Canada, the CRA demands that you settle your tax situation on the property you are selling. Tax owing cannot be transferred over to the Whistler property you are about to purchase.

Please refer to the Non-Resident: Tax on Capital Gain blog for an overview.

Tax Treaty

A non-resident would file their personal tax return with an accountant in their country of residence to report the capital gain on the sale of their property in Canada.

If there is a Tax Treaty between Canada and the non-residents’ country it may result in a foreign tax credit being available to the non-resident. This tax credit may offset the tax on the capital gain in Canada in the non-resident’s own tax jurisdiction.

The Tax Treaty works both ways, for example, an Australian selling property in Canada, and a Canadian selling their property in Australia. Each seller must declare the capital gain, but will not want to pay tax on it in both countries. The principle is to avoid, at least to some extent, the possibility of double taxation.

BC Home Flipping Tax

The BC home flipping tax will apply to income from B.C. properties sold on or after January 1, 2025. Income from property purchased before the tax’s effective date may be subject to the new tax if sold on or after January 1, 2025, and within 2 years of purchase unless an exemption applies. 

The Federal Government’s tax on capital gain on the sale price is 50% of the profit which is taxed at the marginal tax rate. The BC Home Flipping tax rate will be 20 percent for income earned from properties sold within 365 days of purchase and will decline to zero between 366 and 730 days. For full information on this tax please read the blog, BC Home Flipping Tax.

Next Steps

Whether you are buying or selling a ski-in ski-out property or not, you will need to rely on an experienced Whistler realtor. By reading through these pages written for non-residents, by Marion Anderson, you already have a good sense of the type of realtor Marion is.

If you think I would be a good fit to work with you and your family, and you are not already working with a Whistler realtor, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

It’s a Good Life in Whistler!


Marion Anderson Personal Real Estate Corporation (604) 938-3885