What All Corporations Need to Know re the new Transparency ReportNov 22 2021
All Corporations who own a legal or beneficial interest in land in British Columbia before November 30, 2020 must file a Transparency Report under the Land Owner Transparency Act by November 30, 2022 (please note this is an extension from the original November 30, 2021 deadline).
What is the LOTA?
British Columbia’s Land Owner Transparency Act (“LOTA”) came into force on November 30, 2020. LOTA creates the land owner transparency registry (“LOTR”) which tracks ownership of real property in British Columbia and imposes disclosure obligations on both existing and new owners of real property.
Filing Obligations under LOTA
All corporations who have a legal or beneficial interest in B.C real estate, must disclose certain information about its shareholders by filing a “Transparency Report.”
The requirements to file a Transparency Report apply to new reporting bodies, which include corporations, partnerships, trustees who acquire an interest in land on or after November 30, 2020, but also to pre-existing reporting bodies, which include corporations, partnerships, trustees who held an interest in land prior to November 30, 2020.
Pre-existing reporting bodies, who held an existing interest in land in British Columbia as of November 30, 2020 will have until November 30, 2022 to file a Transparency Report.
If a reporting body acquires a registered interest in land after November 30, 2020, the aforementioned 1-year grace period does not apply to them and the reporting body must file a transparency report within 2 months of acquiring the interest.
What Happens if Corporations do not Comply with the LOTA Filing Requirement?
The Government of British Columbia enforces compliance of LOTA. There are stiff penalties that may be levied against corporations and individuals that fail to comply with LOTA filing requirements. Under LOTA, fines for either failing to file a transparency report or filing a transparency report that contains false or misleading information may result in a fine that is the greater of:
- $50,000 for a corporation, or $25,000 for an individual; or
- 15% of the assessed value of the property to which the transparency report relates.
Directors, officers, managers or agents of a corporation who authorize, permit or participate in the commission of an offence by the corporation may also be liable for additional administrative penalties.
RDM Lawyers LLP is committed to guiding our clients through these important changes. We would be pleased to assist you with ensuring compliance with this new legislation. Please contact our office at 604.853.0774 if your corporation(s) owns a legal or beneficial interest in land in British Columbia so that we may assist you with the required Transparency Report filing.
For more information about the LOTA and its purpose and requirements, please visit https://www.landtransparency.ca.