B.C. launches Land Owner Transparency Registry
Who will have to register?
Any corporation, trustee or partnership (unless specifically excluded under the legislation) that is the registered landowner and holds the interest in land for another interest holder will have to register with the Land Owner Transparency Registry.
When will they have to register?
Effective Nov. 30, 2020, all registered landowners who purchase an interest in land for another interest holder must submit a transparency report at the time of transfer. Registered landowners must also submit a transparency report when there is a change in interest holders, even when that change does not result in a transfer of title.
All current registered landowners in B.C. who hold interest in land for another interest holder must register by Nov. 30, 2021.
What information will they be required to provide?
Registered owners will be required to provide information about interest holders, including date of birth and current address, as well as tax and social insurance numbers, if applicable. This is similar to the information collected for property transfer tax.
What information will be made public, and when can the public search the registry?
Names of all corporate interest holders, beneficial owners or partnership interest holders, as well as other limited information such as citizenship, will be publicly accessible. It is anticipated the registry will be searchable on April 30, 2021.
What are the costs of the registry, registering and searching the database?
It will cost $5 to file a transparency declaration, $35 to file a transparency report and $5 to search the database. The transparency register will be funded through fees in line with similar cost-recovery fees currently in place with similar databases including land titles.
What if reporting bodies fail to register?
The enforcement officer can impose the greater of $50,000 for a contravention by a corporation and $25,000 for an individual or 5% of the assessed property value.