Land transfer rebate – up to $8775 rebate
First-time homebuyers in Ontario can qualify for a rebate equal to the full amount of their land transfer tax, up to a maximum of $4,000.
To qualify for the Ontario Land Transfer Tax Refund for First-Time Homebuyers, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada,
- You must be 18 years of age or older,
- You must live in the home within 9 months of purchasing it,
- You cannot have owned a home before, and
- If you have a spouse, they cannot have owned a home during the time they have been your spouse.
Based on the Ontario land transfer tax rates, the rebate will cover the full tax amount up to a maximum home purchase price of $368,333. For homes with purchase prices over $368,333, homebuyers will qualify for the maximum rebate, but will still owe the remainder of their land transfer tax. If you are buying your home with your spouse, but only one of you qualifies for this rebate, you can still receive 50% of the rebate.
Please see this mortgage calculator which includes a land transfer tax calculator. Click here
Purchasing in Toronto?
First-time homebuyers in who live in the City of Toronto can qualify for a rebate equal to the full amount of their municipal land transfer tax, up to a maximum of $4,475. You can also qualify for the Ontario rebate in addition to the Toronto rebate.
Based on the Toronto land transfer tax rates, the rebate will cover the full tax amount up to a maximum home purchase price of $400,000. For homes with purchase prices over $400,000, homebuyers will qualify for the maximum rebate, but will still owe the remainder of their land transfer tax. If you are buying your home with your spouse, but only one of you qualifies for this rebate, you can still receive 50% of the rebate.
If you qualify, your real estate lawyer will claim the rebate electronically through Teraview when he/she registers your transfer/deed. For more information, visit the Municipal Land Transfer Tax Rebate website.
What is the Home Buyers’ Plan?
With the federal government’s Home Buyers’ Plan, you can use up to $25,000 of your RRSP savings ($50,000 for a couple) to help finance your down payment on a home.
To qualify, the RRSP funds you’re using must be on deposit for at least 90 days. You must also provide a signed agreement to buy or build a qualifying home.
The best part is the withdrawal is not taxable as long as you repay it within a 15-year period. The payback amount is at least one-fifteenth a year of the amount you withdrew from your RRSP. So make sure you set up an automatic monthly, bi-weekly or even weekly contribution to your RRSP, to ensure you do not miss any repayments!
Using your RRSP’s as a downpayment may be a great option as you have the ability to draw from some of your existing resources and it might possibly allow you to accumulate the 20% down payment needed to avoid having to pay default insurance premiums. Even if you already have enough money for your down payment, it may make sense to access your RRSP savings through the Home Buyers’ Plan.
For example, if you have already saved $25,000 for a down payment and assuming you still had enough “contribution room” in your RRSP for a contribution of that amount, you could move your savings into an RRSP at least 90 days before your closing date. Then, simply withdraw the money through the Home Buyers’ Plan. The advantage? Your $25,000 RRSP contribution will count as a tax deduction this year. Use any tax refund you receive to repay the RRSP or other expenses related to buying your home. But remember, you will have to pay that amount back to your RRSP over the next 15 years.
It’s very important to your overall plan that both the pros and cons of this strategy be reviewed. There are a number of questions you should be asking yourself about this strategy:
- Will you repay the requirement amount each year?
- Is it the right time to cash out your RRSP (i.e., this depends on the investments and rate of return you are getting on your current investment)?
- Is it worth forgoing the future tax sheltered growth potential of your RRSP in favour of reducing the mortgage amount (including default insurance premiums, total interest costs, etc.)