Source: CPA Canada

The new Underused Housing Tax (UHT) is aimed primarily at non-residents of Canada, but others may also be caught. It’s important to understand the rules to ensure you are not subject to the tax, and/or required to file the UHT return.

The CRA indicates on its website that owners subject to the UHT rules must have a valid CRA tax identifier number to file the UHT return. The tax identifier number for individuals is a social insurance number (SIN), or, if the owner does not have a SIN, it is an individual tax number (ITN). Owners who do not already have an ITN must apply for one. We understand that the CRA will expedite the processing of ITN applications that are received for the purposes of filing a UHT return.

For corporations, the tax identifier number is a Canadian business number (BN) with an Underused Housing Tax (RU) program account identifier code. If the owner already has a BN, they will have to register for an RU program account before filing the UHT return. Where the owner does not have a BN, they must apply for one and register for an RU program account before filing. The CRA indicates that registrations for RU program accounts will open online after February 6, 2023.

For property held in trust, please keep in mind that the UHT filing will be done using the tax identifier of the trustee. An existing trust account number cannot be used for UHT filings.

For owners who will be required to file a UHT return for 2022 and will require an ITN, or will need to register for an RU program account, we recommend you do this soon. For further details on this process, please see CRA’s website or contact us.