Notice to the Profession
December 01, 2020

BC Land Title & Survey Authority – new online identity verification service

The BC Land Title & Survey Authority is offering an online identity verification service to mitigate fraud risk where a physical meeting with an individual is not possible. Lawyers who wish to use technology verification services to enhance their practice are still expected to comply with the existing rules in Part 3 – Division 11 – Client Identification and Verification.

The Law Society previously issued guidance for using video technology for verification in unique circumstances for clients in Canada where a lawyer is unable to use any other verification method. In such circumstances, the transaction should be treated as high risk. Among other requirements, lawyers are expected to document the efforts made to verify the client’s identity in accordance with the existing rules, as well as the reasons why they are unable to verify the client’s identity in accordance with the existing rules. Please see Knowing your client - Guidance and rules during COVID-19 for the Law Society’s Notice to the Profession and detailed guidance as well as video conferencing technology information. If you have questions, contact a practice advisor at

Use of Property Transfer Tax return PDF forms ends on December 14, 2020

Effective December 14, 2020, Property Transfer Tax returns must be submitted using the new web form as the following PDF forms will no longer be available: Property Transfer Tax Return (FIN 530) (PDF), Additional Property Transfer Tax Return (FIN 532) (PDF) and Property Transfer Tax Calculator for Residential (FIN536) (PDF). Calculating the additional property transfer tax and further 2 per cent tax on residential property over $3,000,000 can be done in the new web form. The Property Tax Branch of the BC Ministry of Finance launched a new PTT return in July 2020 that aligns with LTSA’s new Web Filing. For more information, visit the ministry’s Information for Legal Professionals on Filing Property Transfer Tax webpage. If you have questions, call 1.888.355.2700 or email