In order to counteract money laundering in the province, the British Columbia government has enacted the Land Owner Transparency Act (LOTA), a statute that requires mandatory disclosure regarding beneficial ownership of land within the Province.
Who Has to Disclose?
In accordance with LOTA, all registered owners of land in British Columbia as of November 30, 2020 must file a transparency report by November 30, 2021 to disclose beneficial ownership. Those who only hold a registered interest in land in their own right as legal and beneficial owners do not need to file a report. There are three types of reporting bodies that must file a transparency report according to LOTA: relevant trusts, relevant corporations, and relevant partnerships.
What Does a Transparency Report Include?
Land owner transparency reports must include detailed information about the reporting body as well as about each relevant individual interest holder, including date of birth, location of permanent residence, citizenship status, social insurance number, a description of the interest holder’s affiliation with the land in question, and the date of which they became an interest holder. Beginning on April 30, 2021, the public has had access to an online registry of land owners that have filed transparency reports.
What Happens if a Land Owner Fails to File?
If a reporting body fails to file a transparency report as required by LOTA by November 30, 2021, they can be fined 15% of the assessed value of the property in addition to up to $25,000 for individuals and up to $50,000 for non-individuals. It is essential that all owners of land in British Columbia determine whether they are required to file a transparency report and do so before November 30, 2021 in order to avoid financial penalty.
How Hoogbruin & Company Can Help
The majority of corporations, partnerships, and trusts with a registered interest in land in British Columbia will be required to file a transparency report, as will many individual land owners. If you are unsure whether or not you are required to disclose under LOTA or require assistance with filing your transparency report, contact us today.