The deadlines for challenging a property tax assessment in Ontario and Québec are quickly approaching!
Property owners and tenants in Ontario have until April 1, 20191 to file an appeal or Request for Reconsideration (RfR) to challenge their property tax assessments. If you are an owner and any portion of your property is taxed at a rate other than the commercial or industrial tax rate, you cannot file a formal appeal. You will be required to file a RfR to protect your right to challenge the assessment.
In Ontario, current property tax assessments reflect a base date of January 1, 2016 for tax years 2017–2020. The property must be assessed at its market value as of this base date. However, the assessment should be equitable to that of similar properties in the same vicinity.
In Québec municipalities undergoing a revaluation in 2019, owners and tenants have until April 30, 2019 to challenge their property tax assessments. To initiate a challenge, a Request for Review must be filed by the end of April. Municipalities revaluing properties for the 2019–2021 triennial tax roll generally include Québec City and most municipalities on the North and South shores of Montréal.
It’s important to note that Québec does not have an annual right of review for property tax purposes. Therefore, it’s critical to file a Request for Review if you disagree with an assessment. Otherwise, the assessment value will be locked in for three years.
If you are a tenant in a property currently undergoing a revaluation, you have certain rights in relation to a property tax assessment review. If you are the sole occupant of a leased property in Québec, you possess the same rights as the owner with respect to having the assessment reviewed. Whether you are the only occupant or share a property with other tenants, you should consider having an audit of any taxes or operating expenses charged back or allocated to you by the landlord. This is a common practice for tenants and can help ensure that all chargebacks are consistent with the provisions of the lease agreement.
When reviewing any Canadian property tax assessment and deciding whether it should be challenged, ask yourself the following questions:
- Has the assessment been reviewed or appealed in recent (i.e., the last two) years?
- Is the assessment equitable with that of similar properties?
- Have all economic changes in the market been properly reflected in the valuation?
- Are non-assessable items, such as machinery and equipment, incorrectly included in the calculation of the assessment?
- Is the tax classification correct?
- How does the assessment compare to recent sales or listing activity in the area?
- Has there been any demolition or contamination during the tax years covered by the assessment?
For a list of important Canadian Property Tax dates and deadlines, please visit the Ryan Canada website at:
Contact your Ryan representative in Ontario or Québec for more information or to determine the best course of action in your situation.
1 The legislated appeal deadline in Ontario is March 31 of each year; however, since March 31 is a Sunday this year, the appeal deadline is autonomically moved to April 1, 2019.