Lawsuit of the week: Tax authorities target more Vancouver developers in Federal Court for information on pre-sale flippers

The federal government is taking Wall Centre (Point Grey) Developments and Intergulf Development (QE Park) Corp. to court for information on pre-sale buyers who flipped their contracts prior to completion of construction.

The federal government is taking Wall Centre (Point Grey) Developments and Intergulf Development (QE Park) Corp. to court for information on pre-sale buyers who flipped their contracts prior to completion of construction.

The Minister of National Revenue filed two applications in the Federal Court of Canada on May 17. In the first application, the minister wants Wall Centre (Point Grey) Developments LP, Wall Centre (Point Grey) GP Ltd. and Wall Centre (Point Grey) Nominee Ltd. to hand over information on pre-sale buyers at its Binning Tower development at 3355 Binning Road on the University of British Columbia endowment lands. The 22-storey highrise was completed in 2016, and units have already spiked in value. For example, Unit 2605 with three bedrooms and four bathrooms was assessed at $1,895,000 in 2016, and a year later the BC Assessment Authority pegged it at $2,608,000.

According to the application, the minister wants to verify that buyers who assigned their contracts before construction was finished complied with obligations under the Income Tax Act and the Excise Tax Act.

In the second application, the minister is targeting pre-sale buyers at Intergulf Development (QE Park) Corp.’s Empire project a few blocks south of King Edward on Cambie Street.

The Minister of National Revenue has filed several applications in Federal Court for similar information on pre-sale buyers at high-profile developments in the past, including Marine Gateway and Telus Garden.

The developers in the latest cases had not responded to the applications by press time.