In their 2021 budget, the Liberals have increased the income eligibility threshold from $120K to $150K and the home price limit from 4 times household income to 4.5 times. These changes come as Toronto's housing market and Vancouver real estate climb to new all-time highs.
The Government of Ontario provides incentives to its citizens who are first-time home buyers. You can receive a land transfer tax refund in Ontario of up to $4,000. What this means is if the purchase price of your home is less than $368,000, you would pay no land transfer tax. If the purchase price is greater than $368,000, then you would receive the maximum refund of $4,000. This incentive applies for both new construction and resale homes.
To qualify as a first-time home buyer, you must not have owned a home previously anywhere in the world, or have any interest or stake in a home. Your spouse must not have owned or have an interest in a home while they were your spouse. To be eligible for Ontario's land transfer tax refund, you must also be at least 18 years old.
In addition to being a first-time home buyer and being 18 years old, you must also be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. If you are currently not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, you have 18 months after your home registration to become one to qualify for the refund. The home you are purchasing must be your principal residence within nine months.
While you can claim the refund when registering your property to offset the land transfer tax payable, you have up to 18 months after registration to claim the refund.
If one or more purchasers of the home is not a first-time home buyer, you may still be eligible for a refund of your land transfer tax. For example, if two individuals purchase a home but only one of them is a first-time home buyer, then only 50% of the transfer tax refund can be claimed.
The City of Toronto also provides a Municipal Land Transfer Tax Rebate for first-time home buyers purchasing a home in Toronto. A rebate of up to $4,475 is given to first-time home buyers purchasing newly constructed or resale residential properties.
The home buyer will need to be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident to qualify for the rebate. The buyer will also qualify if they become a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident within 18 months. While you can claim the rebate at the time of registration, you have up to 18 months to claim the rebate.