Key Property Tax Deadlines Loom for Ontario Residents

On February 29, 2024, Ontario property owners will be affected by several significant tax-related deadlines, including the Vacant Home Tax (specific to residential properties in Toronto), tax relief applications and charity rebates. Taking a proactive approach to these deadlines is essential for effective property management.

Toronto Vacant Home Tax

Owners of residential properties in Toronto have until Thursday, February 29, 2024, to file a declaration regarding the 2023 occupancy status of their property. Owners must file this declaration, even if the property is their primary residence, tenanted or exempt (and no tax will be payable), failing which the property will be deemed to be vacant and a Notice of Assessment for Vacant Home Tax, set at 1% of the property’s current value assessment, will be issued. Additionally, a fee of $21.24 will be imposed on those who fail to submit a declaration of occupancy status by the deadline. Property owners who disagree with their Vacant Home Tax assessment can file a complaint through the city’s online portal beginning in early April.

Our previous bulletin outlined changes to Toronto’s Vacant Home Tax. For more information regarding the Vacant Home Tax, including a list of exemptions, visit the city’s Vacant Home Tax website at:

Application for the Cancellation, Reduction or Refund of Taxes

February 29, 2024, is also the deadline for submitting a tax relief application to the Ontario municipality in which a property is located. Tax relief may be available due to the following events having occurred during 2023:

  • change in use to a tax class that attracts a lower tax rate;
  • land becoming vacant land or excess land;
  • land becoming exempt from taxation;
  • building on the land being destroyed or damaged due to fire, demolition or otherwise;
  • applicant is unable to pay taxes because of sickness or extreme poverty;
  • mobile unit was removed;
  • applicant was overcharged due to a gross or manifest error that is clerical or factual in nature (and not an error in judgment in assessing the property); and
  • repairs or renovations prevented the normal use of the land for a period of at least three months during the year.

Rebates for Charities

Finally, a registered charity occupying Ontario property in the commercial or industrial tax classes can apply for a rebate of 40% of its realty taxes by February 29, 2024, provided it meets the eligibility requirements.

Did you know that section 365.2 of the Municipal Act, 2001 gives Ontario municipalities the option of establishing a program to provide property tax relief (10 - 40%) to owners of eligible heritage properties? Municipalities must pass a bylaw to adopt the program. The program, including deadlines to apply, may vary from municipality to municipality.

The Municipal & Land Use Planning Group at Aird & Berlis will continue to monitor developments in municipal taxation. Please contact a member of the group if you have questions or require assistance.