There are various government programs out there that you as a home buyer or a property owner can take advantage of.
First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit
First-time home buyers may be eligible for a 15 per-cent income tax credit for closing costs.
• To assist first-time home buyers with the costs related to the purchase of a home.
• The First-Time Home Buyers’ Credit (FTHBC) provides a 15 percent credit on a maximum of $5,000 of home purchase costs (e.g. legal fees, land transfer taxes, etc.), meaning maximum tax relief of $750.
• Applicable to first-time buyers purchasing a home closing after January 27, 2009.
• The FTHBC is claimable for the taxation year in which the home is acquired.
An individual will be considered a first-time home buyer if neither the individual nor the individual’s spouse or common-law partner
owned and lived in another home in the calendar year of the home purchase or in any of the four preceding calendar years.
RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan
The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) is a program under which you can, generally, with- draw up to $25,000 from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to buy or build a qualifying home. However, before you can ,withdraw funds you must have entered into a written agreement to buy or build a qualifying home which you must occupy no later than one year after buying or building the home.
• Up to $25,000 per person could be withdrawn tax-free from RRSPs to buy or build a principal residence. Couples -including common-law – will be able to withdraw up to $50,000.
• You have to meet the first-time buyer’s condition. You are not considered a first-time home buyer if you or your spouse owned a home that you occupied as your principal place of residence in the past 5 years. To determine past 5 years, the 4 years preceding the year you make your withdrawal plus the period in the year you make your withdrawal ending 31 days before your withdrawal is the rule adopted.
• Home buyers withdrawing funds do not have to pay income tax on the amount withdrawn, as long as the funds are repaid into an RRSP in the future.
Five Per Cent Down Payment Program
With as little as five per cent down payment, from personal or other sources (see below for eligible other sources), all home buyers have access to mortgage insurance enabling them to enter the housing market, as long as they can meet the standards for a five year fixed-rate mortgage.
• Mortgage insurance for 95 per cent mortgages is available to both first time and repeat home buyers. Homebuyers have the option of using personal sources, such as savings or gifts, or other sources, such as lender incentives, borrowed funds/credit, or sweat equity (the amount of money spent to help construct the home) for the required five per cent down payment.
• Buyers using the Program may consume up to 32 per cent of their gross monthly household income for payments of principal interest, property taxes and heating, and total debt load cannot exceed 40 per cent of monthly household income.
• Buyers using the Program must be able to qualify for a five year fixed-rate mortgage even if they choose a mortgage with a lower interest rate and shorter term.
• Insurance premiums on loans for 95 per cent of the lending value of the house where the five percent down payment comes from personal sources will be 2.75 per cent of the mortgage loan. Insurance premiums on loans for 95 per cent of the lending value of the house where the five percent down payment comes from other sources will be 2.9 per cent of the mortgage loan. This premium can be added to the mortgage.
HST New Housing Rebate
You may be eligible to claim a rebate for a part of the HST you pay on the purchase price or cost of building your home if:
• you buy a new or substantially renovated home (including the land or if you lease the land) from a builder;
• you buy a new mobile home (including a modular home) or a floating home from a builder or vendor;
• you buy a share of capital stock of a co-operative housing corporation;
• you construct or substantially renovate your own home, or carry out a major addition (or hire another person to do so); or
• your home is destroyed in a fire and is subsequently rebuilt.
• The purchase price of resale homes are exempt from the HST. The purchase price of newly constructed homes are subject to HST.
• New home buyers can apply for a 36% rebate of the GST (federal portion of HST) applicable to the purchase price to a maximum of $6,300 for homes costing $350,000 or less before GST. For new homes priced between $350,000 and $450,000 before GST, the GST rebate would be reduced proportionately. New homes priced $450,000 before GST or higher would not receive a rebate.
• New home buyers can apply for a 75% rebate of the PST (provincial part of HST) applicable to the purchase price to a maximum of $24,000.
Land Transfer Tax Rebates (Provincial and Toronto)
First-time buyers of new and re-sale homes are eligible to receive rebates of the provincial and Toronto land transfer taxes. The maximum provincial land transfer tax (LTT) rebate for first-time buyers is $2,000 and the maximum Toronto LTT rebate for first time buyers is $3,725. A FULL rebate of the Toronto land transfer tax is also available for ALL buyers who entered into Agreements of Purchase and Sale prior to December 31, 2007.
• Toronto LTT is payable only for properties in the City of Toronto. Maximum Toronto LTT first-time buyer rebate is $3,725 (equivalent to the Toronto
• LTT payable on a $400,000 property). ANY purchaser who entered into an Agreement of Purchase and Sale prior to December 31, 2007 is eligible for a FULL rebate of the Toronto LTT.
• Toronto LTT rebates are in addition to any provincial LTT rebate that the buyer qualifies for.
• The Toronto LTT for residential properties is calculated as follows (An easy-to-use calculator is available at www.NoHomeBuyingTax.com):
0.5% of the amount of the purchase price up to and including $55,000, plus
1% of the amount of the purchase price between $55,000 and $400,000, plus
2% of the amount of the purchase price above $400,000
First-Time Buyer Eligibility
To be eligible as a first-time buyer for the provincial LTT rebate and/or Toronto LTT rebate,
• The purchaser must be at least 18 years of age.
• The purchaser must occupy the home as his or her principal residence no later than nine months after the date of the conveyance or disposition.
• The purchaser cannot have previously owned a home, or had any ownership interest in a home, anywhere in the world, at any time.
• If the purchaser has a spouse, the spouse cannot have owned a home, or had any ownership interest in a home, anywhere in the world while he or she was the purchaser’s spouse. If this is the case, NO refund is available to either spouse. Note: If a purchaser’s spouse owned an interest in a home BEFORE becoming the purchaser’s spouse, but not while the purchaser’s spouse, the purchaser may be eligible for some rebate.