As a new homeowner in the City of Toronto, there are a number of questions that you may have regarding property taxes, especially if this is your first property purchase. The following is designed to provide you with some general information about property tax bills that many new homeowners ask.
- How will the City know I bought a property?
- How often will I receive a tax bill?
- Can I pay tax bills by Pre-Authorized Payments?
- Can I pay my bills through the internet or by telephone banking?
- I sold a property; will my payment option transfer to my new property?
- I received a purple notice called a Property Tax Account Statement. What is this and why did I receive it?
- My mortgage company is paying my property taxes. What should I do?
- Why would I have a Property Tax Account Statement mailed to me if I paid my instalments on time?
- I received a Supplementary / Omitted Tax Bill. Do I have to pay it?
- Where can I find additional Property Tax Information?
There are several ways in which the City may determine that you have purchased a property:
The lawyer handling the purchase of the property requests a Tax Certificate before the property sale closing date to determine the status of property taxes and whether there are any amounts owing or due in the future. The lawyer uses this information on the closing of the property purchase to determine the amount of property taxes both the vendor and purchaser each are responsible for. When the certificate is issued, there is a return portion on the bottom of the form the lawyer can complete and return. The City will update the property tax account record from this returned portion following receipt of this document.
Instead of sending the property tax certificate tear off portion, the lawyer may send a letter to the City to advise that the property sale transaction has been completed and will provide your name and mailing address for billing purposes. The City will update the property tax account record from this letter.
You can ensure that the City receives the information by checking with your lawyer if they have sent the request to the City to update the property tax account. If they have not, you must notify the city. You can notify the City directly either in writing by mail, or by attending one of our tax/utility enquiry cashier counters to complete a Change Request Form.
If you attend one of our tax/utility enquiry cashier counters, you should bring a copy of a document to indicate your purchase. Learn more about documents required for Owner/Address Change.
Once the City has updated the ownership of the property, you will receive a Property Tax Account Statement to confirm the change has been made. A Property Tax Account Statement will show any overdue property tax amounts and any future due amounts, if applicable.
Property Tax Account Statements are also issued as part of our Arrears Collections Process. See below for more information about Property Tax Account Statements.
There is a fee for an ownership change which is charged to your property tax account.
The City of Toronto mails regular property tax bills twice per year. For new properties or improvements to properties, Supplementary or Omitted Assessment tax bills may also be issued. To learn more about the types of bills and due dates visit Property Tax Bill Cycle.
Property owners have the option of enrolling in one of our three plans under our Pre-Authorized Tax Payment (PTP) Program.
To qualify for any plan under the PTP Program, all taxes must be paid in good standing.
You may enrol in this program at any time.
If you sold a property and purchased a new property, please be sure to cancel your payment arrangement on the old property. The Pre-Authorized Property Tax Payment Program is not transferrable to another property, so you will need to apply for the program on the new property.
If you want to pay your property tax payments through your financial institution, this is an acceptable method of payment.
Please allow sufficient time for your payment to reach our office by the due date. You can check with your financial institution as to how many days are required to pay in advance in order for payments to reach our office by the due date.
You will need your property tax roll number, which is 21 characters long, in order to enrol in these payment options with your financial institutions. The number may be found on your bills, Property Tax Account Statement, on the Tax Certificate if you lawyer request one on closing, or you may obtain the number by calling a Customer Service Representative at 416 338-4829.
More information on Paying Your Property Tax Bill.
Payment options do not transfer to new properties. It is up to you to cancel any pre-authorized payment arrangements prior to selling your property. You must also update any account information with your bank or financial institution if you pay electronically.
If you were previously enrolled through your financial institution for either telephone or internet banking services, please note that you must change your property tax roll number and/or your utility account number to reflect your new account information. If you purchased a new property and do not correct this information with your financial institution, your payments will be credited to your old account(s) and you may end up receiving overdue notices and be subject to penalty and interest charges or other fees for outstanding balances on your new tax or utility account. The City of Toronto cannot make these changes on your behalf. You must contact your financial institution directly to change your account information. Please note that a fee is charged for transferring payments made electronically when they are applied to the wrong account.
If you have moved within the City of Toronto and were previously enrolled in the Pre-Authorized Tax Payment Program (PTP), you cannot carry the program over to your new property. You must cancel your participation in the program for your old property and reapply for the program for your new property. Enrollment for PTP is done twice per year.
More information on the Pre-Authorized Tax Payment Program.
I received a purple notice called a Property Tax Account Statement. What is this and why did I receive it?
A Property Tax Account Statement (or Overdue Notice) may be issued for a number of reasons.
As a new owner, you will receive a Property Tax Account Statement once the tax account has been updated with your information. Check the Message Centre area of your statement to see if this is the reason for the statement being mailed to you. The Message Centre also contains additional important messages and the back of the statement has payment option information.
A Statement is issued when there is a balance owing on a property tax account as part of our Arrears Collection Process. Fees are applicable for overdue notice statements.
A Statement may be issued when there has been a change in payment options. A message will appear in the Message Centre area of your statement if it has been issued as a result of a change in payment options.
Property Tax Account Statements may also be issued following any adjustments being made to your account.
If a Property Tax Account Statement is issued and there are overdue amounts, the amounts that are overdue are listed with an indication as to which year is overdue. Overdue Amount(s) are to be paid immediately. If there are amounts that are overdue, the Property Tax Account Statement will indicate “Overdue Notice” at the top, right area of the message centre portion of the statement.
Statements also list amounts in the “Future Instalments” section, if applicable. Future instalment amounts may be for upcoming tax instalments or other charges that are not yet due. Post-dated cheques may be submitted for the dates and amounts in the Future Instalments area of the statement.
If your taxes are going to be paid by your mortgage company and you have received a tax bill or Property Tax Account Statement, forward your statement to them or contact your mortgage company to confirm if they are making payments. If your mortgage company is going to pay your future taxes, they will make arrangements with the City to receive future bills.
Sometimes, customers may make a payment through telephone or internet banking and the payment has not yet arrived in our office at the time Statements are produced. If you have proof of your payment having been made on time, it can be submitted for review by contacting our Call Centre.
Payments made through financial institutions can take 1-3 days to be transmitted to the City, depending on your bank or financial institution. Revenue Services advises customers to allow enough time for payment to reach our office by the due date when paying through telephone or internet banking, or through automated or in-person tellers at financial institutions. Check with your financial institution to find out how many days are required to submit a payment to our office by the due date of your bill.
Occasionally, a payment may have been applied to the wrong account number if an incorrect payment stub was submitted with the payment, if you own more than one property. If your account number was recorded incorrectly when establishing your payment account with your financial institution, or when keying in your account through telephone banking, payments will not be correctly applied to your account. Be sure to update your property tax account number with your financial institution payment arrangements when you sell a property or buy a new one to avoid paying the wrong account. If you believe this has happened, you can submit your proof of payment for review, but you will also need to update your records with your financial institution to avoid similar problems with future payments. Fees may be applicable when payments are applied to incorrect accounts.
Your payment may have been received after the due date and penalty/interest charges and/or fees may have been applied to your account.
Your cheques may have been made for dates that are after the actual due dates for the tax instalments.
The Statement would reflect the amount owing if any of the above situations occurred at the date printed on the statement.
You can check your financial institution records and verify if balances were paid on time according to the due dates indicated on your tax bills or statements before contacting the Customer Service Representatives for explanations when receiving a Property Tax Account Statement.
Supplementary or Omitted tax bills are the responsibility of the property owner.
If you are a new owner, you may want to check with the solicitor who handled your property purchase transaction to see if any funds were withheld on closing to pay for a portion of the bill(s).
A lawyer may request that funds be withheld when a property is new or has had improvements made to it which may not have been assessed for property taxation at the time the property sale closes.
A portion of any supplementary or omitted taxes may pertain to a period of time when the vendor owned the property, but, regardless of what period of time the taxes are for, they are the responsibility of the current owner of the property.
If your property is new, and you are being taxed for the first time, there is a one-time fee charged for a new account setup. The fee will be shown on your bill. Learn more about Supplementary or Omitted Tax bills.
More New Owner Information is available for Utility bills