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Recent changes to Ontario’s Land Transfer Tax Refund

Image by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi from Pixabay



Beginning on January 1, 2017, the maximum amount of refund available to eligible first time home buyers jumped from $2,000.00 to $4,000.00. This means that eligible homebuyers in Ontario will not pay Land Transfer Tax (LTT) on the first $368,000 of their home’s purchase price. The government has implemented this measure in an effort to assist first-time homebuyers. As part of the provincial government’s 2016 Fall Economic Statement, it was hoped that by doubling the refund, more than half of first-time homebuyers in Ontario will pay no LTT on the purchase of their first home. This change comes in the wake of a spike in property value in hot markets, like the Niagara Region, and highlights how unaffordable a home purchase has become for young buyers.

To qualify for a refund:

  •  the purchaser must be at least 18 years old;
  • the purchaser must occupy the home as their principle residence;
  • the purchaser cannot have ever owned an eligible home, or an interest in an eligible home, anywhere in the world, at any time;
  • the purchaser cannot have previously received an Ontario Home Ownership Savings Plan (OHOSP) ‑ based refund of land transfer tax;
  • the purchaser must be a permanent resident of Canada;
  • and, if the purchaser has a spouse, the spouse cannot have owned an eligible home, or had any ownership interest in an eligible home, while he or she was the purchaser’s spouse.

In addition, a qualifying purchaser may claim a refund in proportion to his or her spouse’s interest if that purchaser’s spouse has owned a home before becoming the purchaser’s spouse, but not while being that purchaser’s spouse. A partner’s eligibility for a refund depends on whether you are spouses as defined in section 29 of the Family Law Act. If you are not spouses, then your partner may claim a refund based on his or her interest acquired in the home. If you are spouses, your partner may claim a refund up to the maximum refund amount applicable to your transaction (you can claim the refund for your interest and your partner’s interest), as long as you did not own a home while you were each other’s spouse.

If you need help with any of the foregoing issues, or require assistance with the purchase or sale of a home, please do not hesitate to contact one of the Real Estate Professionals at Daniel & Partners LLP today.

Blog post written by Matteson DeLuca, student-at-law.