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Incentives for First Time Home Buyers

If you are a first-time Home Buyer in Ontario, you may be eligible for the following incentive programs:

LAND TRANSFER TAX REBATES (Provincial and Toronto Gov’t Incentive)

Ontario offers a land transfer tax refund of up to $4,000 for first-time home buyers.

Toronto offers a land transfer tax rebate of up to $4,475 for first-time home buyers. You can learn more about the rebate on The City of Toronto page for Municipal Land Transfer Tax Rebate Opportunities.

THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA FIRST-TIME HOME BUYER INCENTIVE (Federal Gov’t Incentive)

This Incentive allows you to share part of your home’s ownership with the government. Some municipalities even have additional down payment assistance programs (DPAPs).

The Government of Canada offers a First-Time Home Buyer Shared Equity Incentive Program that shares part of the ownership and costs of buying your home with the government. Under the program, the government will contribute 5% or 10% of the home’s price towards your down payment in exchange for the same amount of equity in your home. This can significantly reduce your interest payments and CMHC mortgage insurance premiums due to the larger down payment.

The government’s share in your home will have to be repaid within 25 years or when you sell your home, whichever comes first. Any gains or losses in the market value of your home will be shared with the government. This is not a typical loan, and no interest will be charged. Additionally, many municipalities offer additional shared equity mortgages in the form of down payment assistance programs (DPAPs).

THE HOME BUYER’S PLAN (Federal Gov’t Incentive)

This Plan, allows you to withdraw up to $35,000 (since March 19, 2019) from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contributions without any penalties or taxes.

The Federal Government’s Home Buyers’ Plan was created in 2019 to allow first-time home buyers to withdraw up to $35,000 tax-free from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) to buy or build a home. The amount must be repaid over a period of 15 years. This is a recent increase over the previous limit of $25,000.

THE GST/HST NEW HOUSING REBATE (Federal Gov’t Incentive)

If you have purchased a newly constructed or substantially renovated home, you may be eligible to reclaim the GST or federal part of the HST charged on the purchase of said property.

This incentive applies to:

  • purchasing from a builder or constructing your own home
  • renovations where at least 90% of the interior of the existing home has been removed or replaced
  • mobile and floating homes
  • conversion of non-residential property into a home
  • purchasing shares in a co-operative housing project

More terms and conditions apply. See the Government of Canada’s website for additional eligibility criteria and information.

HOME BUYERS’ AMOUNT TAX CREDIT (HBTC) – (Federal Gov’t Incentive)_

The HBTC allows eligible first-time buyers to claim a $5,000 credit on their tax return. Claiming this credit can result in a tax rebate of $750. This sum can be used to cover things like legal fees, the price of movers or closing costs.

To qualify for the tax credit, you must be a first-time home buyer. A first-time home buyer is defined as someone who has not lived in a home owned either directly by you or your spouse/partner in the previous four years.

Homes that are eligible include both existing and new construction homes located in Canada, including single-family, semi-detached, townhouses, mobile homes, condominiums, and apartments. The home must be occupied as your principal residence within one year.

If you are not a first-time home buyer, you may still qualify for the Home Buyers’ Amount. You can qualify if you are a person with a disability, where you are eligible for the disability tax credit and have filled out form T2201. You can also qualify for the tax credit if you purchased the home for a relative with a disability. The home being purchased must be made with the intention of it being more accessible for the person with the disability than their previous home.

FIRST HOME SAVINGS ACCOUNT (FHSA) – (Federal Gov’t Incentive)

The federal government announced the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account (FHSA) in the 2022 budget as well as a doubling of the first-time home buyers’ tax credit to up to $1,500 in an effort to make it a little easier to buy a home. Contributions to the new accounts will be tax deductible, just like registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contributions, and the money in the accounts and any investment gains will not be taxed when it is taken out to buy a qualifying first home. The accounts will have a $40,000 lifetime limit on contributions and an annual contribution limit of $8,000. Unused annual contribution room will not be carried forward.

  • It’s advisable to check the Government of Canada, the Ontario Government and your local Municipal Government websites for the latest in updates on these incentives.

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