With the March 31, 2023, Ontario property tax appeal deadline quickly approaching, businesses have a short window to ensure the value of their properties is accurate.
Ontario property assessments for the 2023 tax year will continue to be based on the property value as of Jan. 1, 2016, making it ever more important for industrial, commercial, and institutional property owners to ensure their assessment is fair and equitable as it will be used as a value base when the freeze on property tax reassessments is lifted.
Ontario legislation mandates a four-year assessment cycle, which should have started in 2021 based on 2019 values. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Ontario suspended property assessments until further notice, which means property assessments for the 2023 taxation year will remain the same as in 2022, unless there have been changes to your property.
How can you determine whether your property assessment is fair and equitable?
Consider these key questions:
- Has there been a change in the use of your property?
- Has there been a physical change made to your property?
- Have you had your property assessment recently reviewed?
With no guarantee of a reassessment occurring in 2024, and in conjunction with evolving and profound changes to the industrial, commercial, and institutional markets, discuss your answers to these questions with a tax professional in advance of the March 31 appeal deadline to identify possible ways to minimize your property tax obligation.
Consider three reasons why a property reassessment may result in a change in property value:
- The current assessment cycle includes taxation years 2017 to 2023. Most commercial, industrial, and institutional property types have been appealed and have had their assessments reduced already. Some of these assessment reductions might apply to your property.
- Many market insights and evidence have become available since your property assessment was developed as of Jan. 1, 2016. Using this in the review of your assessment might help identify new areas of opportunity.
- Favourable and recent decisions by the Assessment Review Board might provide additional benefits in attempting to reduce the assessment of your property.
How can you keep your property taxes as low as possible?
BDO can help you take control of your property tax costs, often the most significant variable operating expense for many owners. With a better understanding of this tax, it is possible to unlock greater asset value, strategically forecast transactional tax payments, avoid missed deadlines, ensure equity with competitors and, most importantly, have certainty that you are not overpaying.
Ensure you are filing an assessment appeal before the March 31 deadline. If you own industrial, commercial, or institutional property, please reach out to BDO Canada's Property Tax Services team to learn how we can help you reduce your tax burden.