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What Do the Recent Proposed Federal Government Changes Mean for Short-Term Rental Operators in Halifax, NS?
Stephen Himmelman MBA, CPA, CMA is a licensed real estate advisor with Cushman & Wakefield Atlantic and provides financial services through Stephen W Himmelman CPA Inc.

With the start of the new year, understanding the recent federal, provincial, and municipal regulations and their effect on your short-term rental business is important. This article highlights the impact of the federal government’s newly proposed tax rules on short-term rental operators in Halifax, NS.

In December 2023, the federal government proposed new tax legislation for the 2024 tax year in hopes it will help alleviate the housing crisis in Canada. By increasing the tax burden on short-term rental operations in municipalities with restrictions on such rentals, the government hopes to encourage the conversion of these properties into long-term residential housing.

How will they accomplish this? By increasing the taxes payable by operators who are not compliant with provincial and municipal regulations, specifically by denying certain taxable expenses.

For Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) operators, the implications of these federal rules will vary depending on where and how you operate your short-term rentals.

In September last year, amendments to the municipal plans and land-use by-laws came into effect, restricting short-term rentals to areas of HRM zoned for commercial use or permitted tourist accommodations unless the property is your principal residence.

Furthermore, starting April 1, 2024, apartment owners and short-term rental operators are required to comply with the HRM rental registry by-law, in addition to the provincial tourism registry.

The consequence of non-compliance? Less money in your pocket. …[Continue Reading]