With the Property Tax Deferral Program (PTD), the province pays the property tax on behalf of the senior directly to the local government.
The senior homeowner does not need to pay back the money to the province until the property is sold.
The PTD program has been gaining in popularity and had 63,581 deferrals in 2018/19 with an average of $4,064 in property tax deferred.
New in 2020, is an online application and the ability to automatically renew each year.
Previously, applications were paper based only and needed to be re-submitted each year.
Seniors can now visit the Ministry of Finance website and complete the form online or download the form and mail it in.
For individuals without the internet or those needing more assistance, they can call the Ministry of Finance at 1-888-355-2700, and an agent can help with the application process.
Seniors can also visit their local Service BC office or municipal government office if there is one open in their area and receive a copy of the form.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many municipalities have extended their property tax deadline and penalty rate and date, so homeowners are encouraged to contact their municipality to understand their tax deadline.
Applications are submitted online through eTaxBC. For information, use the search words “Property Tax Deferment Program” to bring up the government link.
For assistance with applying to the Property Tax Deferment Program, contact the Ministry of Finance toll-free 1-888-355-2700.
Isobel Mackenzie, BC Seniors Advocate.