If you are a land owner in British Columbia, you may have recently received a letter from the province's Land Owner Transparency Registry ("LOTR") indicating the need to file a transparency report by November 30, 2022.
Effective November 30, 2020, the British Columbia Land Owner Transparency Act ("LOTA") came into force. LOTA is intended to increase land ownership transparency in British Columbia by requiring certain corporations, trustees of certain trusts, and partners of partnerships holding certain registered interests in land (including registered ownership of land and a registered lease with a remaining term of more than 10 years), to file disclosure of the identity and certain information about natural individuals who are deemed by LOTA to hold a significant beneficial or indirect interest in land. Please read our previous blog post for more information regarding LOTA.
Existing "reporting bodies" that hold an interest in land acquired prior to November 30, 2020, are required to file a transparency report with the LOTR by the November 30, 2022 deadline. "Reporting bodies" are defined under LOTA and include most companies, limited partnerships and trusts. The transparency report must contain certain prescribed information about the reporting body, the interest holders, the land, and the individual certifying the transparency report.
As mentioned in our previous blog post, "Land Owner Transparency Registry Filing Deadline Extended to 2022," LOTA and the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia require reporting bodies to complete and file their transparency report electronically. LOTA requirements differ from, and are in addition to, the transparency requirements established under the British Columbia Business Corporations Act. Consequences for not filing with the registry can be substantial, with penalties up to $25,000 for an individual, or $50,000 for a corporation, or 15% of the assessed value of the property, whichever is greater.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.