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Using Tax Policy to Address Real Estate Concerns

Vancouver, as well as many other large metropolitan centers, has been facing a well-documented housing crisis. Recently, Canada announced new rules concerning foreign ownership of real estate as one of many attempts to fix this problem using the tax code. The rules include a move to tighten the restrictions surrounding the Canadian principal residence tax exemption. As it currently stands, taxpayers do not have to pay a capital gains tax – a tax on the increased value of the residence – when selling homes as long as the home was designated as a principal residence for every year the taxpayer owned it.
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