Real Estate Advisor with Engel & Völkers Vancouver, Canada

Cindy Stanley Realty Blog › March 2017

House buyer beware: Landmark B.C. court ruling will shake real-estate industry


house buyer beware  landmarkA B.C. Supreme Court ruling will send shock waves through the arm of the Canadian real-estate market that is powered by foreign capital, say immigration lawyers.

The ruling targets a weakness in Canadian laws that often leads foreign owners of real estate in cities such as Metro Vancouver and Toronto to claim they are “residents of Canada for tax purposes” when they are not.

The landmark B.C. decision requires notary public Tony Liu to pay his client more than $600,000 because Liu failed to adequately determine whether the Vancouver house his client was buying for $5.5 million had been owned by a tax resident of Canada.

As a result, the Canada Revenue Agency did not get paid, at the time of the sale, the 25 per cent capital gains tax it charges non-resident sellers of Canadian property on any profit they make on the sale.

So the CRA later demanded the buyer pay the $600,000 in tax. The buyer, in turn, sued Liu, arguing Liu failed to discover the seller was not a tax resident of Canada.

The CRA considers people who don’t live in the country at least six months a year and don’t pay income taxes here to be foreign property investors and speculators and thus subject to capital gains taxes.

Three Canadian immigration lawyers said the CRA tax-residency rule is often not enforced, even in overheated housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto that are in part fuelled by offshore money.

The complex ruling published this month by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Affleck strikes to the heart of a gaping hole in Canadian tax, immigration and property-transfer law, say the immigration lawyers.

The B.C. decision is a stark warning to real estate agents, notaries and lawyers who fail to ensure that sellers of properties are truly tax residents of Canada, said David Lesperance, a tax and immigration lawyer based in Toronto.

“This truly is a game changer,” said Vancouver immigration lawyer Richard Kurland.

“It’s a precedent. Real estate agents can now get a knock on the door from the taxman, asking for the (capital gains) taxes that should have been collected by Ottawa, because the agent failed to make adequate inquiries.”

Sam Hyman, a Vancouver immigration lawyer, said the judge’s decision alerts purchasers to “the dire consequences” of making offers on properties sold by people who may be trying to avoid capital gains tax by falsely declaring they are tax residents of Canada.

Many buyers and their agents, Hyman said, are not being diligent in making sure the seller is a physical or tax resident of Canada, while others are being “cavalier” or “engaging in wilful blindness” about it.

The immigration lawyers urged the B.C. government to end the “honour system” that leaves it largely up to sellers to state on real-estate-industry forms whether or not they are residents of Canada for tax purposes.  

They said the honour-system loophole could be fixed through Ottawa and Victoria agreeing to the sharing of information among the CRA, the federal Immigration Department and the arm of the B.C. government responsible for property sales.

The B.C. Liberals, Kurland said, have stubbornly refused to solve the costly problem by reforming the government’s property-transfer forms to require sellers to answer whether they are “a tax resident of Canada.”

The B.C. government, which last summer brought in a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers to cool Metro Vancouver’s globalized real estate market, recently began to ask property sellers and buyers to answer, “What is your citizenship?”

But citizenship is “as irrelevant as eye colour,” Kurland said.

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by Douglas Todd (Vancouver Sun)
Published: March 24, 2017


The world’s tallest mass-timber high-rise is currently going up in Vancouver, Canada


An Italian magazine recently asked me whether I could name an object I virtually never put down. The answer wasn’t difficult: my smartphone. Like most people, I don’t just use it christian volkers a to make and receive calls. I send emails, check the news or use an app to call a cab. My smartphone has become indispensible. Just like my laptop, which allows me to work when I am traveling on business. It is quite astonishing how modern technology has taken over our private and professional lives. This is also true in the world of real estate. These days, there is hardly a penthouse or modern residence that has not been fitted with a smart home system allowing you to easily, and remotely, control the heating, lights, blinds and other features via your smartphone or tablet computer. Smart home systems also link up individual devices and make living more sustainable. Energy efficiency is important for many of our clients. Architects around the globe are increasingly banking on sustainable construction methods and materials such as wood. The world’s tallest mass-timber high-rise is currently going up in Vancouver, Canada. A sustainable approach to real estate is all the more important in light of the growing global population, especially in large urban centers, where we face the challenge of satisfying the strong demand for properties without cutting back on convenience or modern amenities. Micro-apartments represent a possible solution. Here, private amenity space is scaled back to the essentials, while non-quotidian activities are transferred to communal areas. So, the trend towards the sharing economy is now making itself felt in real estate, and singles and commuters have increasingly been discovering micro-apartments. When designing micro-apartment buildings, the needs of future occupants must be taken into account, as they can be as discerning as the residents of regular apartments. But no matter how you intend to live in the near future, the properties on the following pages are sure to inspire you. Click Here to read more...


Sincerely
Christian Völkers



Our GG magazine has always been synonymous with fresh, new perspectives


I travel a lot – both for business and leisure. On my travels I continue to experience new things and keep meeting extremely interesting people. I find it especially exciting to come christian volkers across individuals who are shaking things up with their ideas. I have always thought it a great privilege to be able to ask questions of these personalities and then to listen carefully to their replies. This is because these exchanges have frequently inspired me both professionally and on a personal level. I feel a sense of achievement when people provide me with new impulses, which then enable me to take entrepreneurial steps that further develop Engel & Völkers as a company. I do not believe, however, that coincidence plays a part in this process. It is my conviction that you have to operate in an organized fashion in order to attain your goals. I have, for example, never tried to be the number one salesman. Instead, it has always been important to me to provide a more comprehensive service than others. I enjoy my work enormously, even though it can be quite challenging at times. But, I have always been an entrepreneur and live by the motto “work hard and play hard.” I recharge my batteries by playing polo – a hobby that I pursue with great passion. Interestingly, there are a lot of parallels between this sport and the demands of my everyday professional life. Just like on the polo field, speed, perfect teamwork, precision, reliability and being proactive are essential in business. I have recognized many of these qualities in those who have given me invaluable food for thought over the decades. As our GG magazine has always been synonymous with fresh, new perspectives, too, this current addition is devoted to men who make the world go round. Attractive perspectives are also provided by a selection of the most beautiful real estate from around the world, which we have, once again, put together for you on the following pages. Click Here to read more...

Sincerely  
Christian Völkers

 



Engel & Völkers are one step ahead of Real Estate brokerages with the innovative marketing


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EV TV
www.evshoptv.com
 
Engel & Völkers are one step ahead of Real Estate brokerages with the innovative marketing, and International exposure all properties receive when listing with the brokerage. The EV TV Network has been a great tool for buyer to shop online, and get to instantly see what properties are available at that time. The TV Network is continually screening the beautiful listings in every boardroom across the continent. The exposure is widely networked and greatly received.



Engel & Völkers has sold mansion of ice hockey star Wayne Gretzky


If Canadians were to vote for their national hero, Wayne Gretzky would very probably be their choice. He is known as the best ice hockey player of all time, which has given him the nickname “The Great One”. The Canadian has long lived in sunny California as his chosen place of residence. Now he has sold his property in Westlake Village for 6 million euros through Engel & Völkers.

wayne gretzky propertycengel volkers westlake village\

Luxurious and modern complex offering the utmost privacy
The exclusive residence is located in the Sherwood Country Club Estate, a secure residential development with an outstanding golf course. The mansion spans some 800 square metres inside, with a total of six bedrooms and eight bathrooms. It is appointed to a very high standard and presides over a large pool.

wayne gretzky propertycengel volkers westlake village 2

Westlake Village is approximately 25 kilometres from Malibu. The beach city is well known as being a popular choice of home among famous names from the worlds of business, sport and showbusiness.

 

Posted by Team Global Corporate Communication on March 5, 2017.



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