Uncertain about the HST rebate for new home buyers? When you buy a new home or condominium, there are rebates for the federal 5 per cent portion of the HST and in Ontario, the provincial 8 per cent portion.
You can qualify for a rebate of 36 per cent of the federal portion of the HST if the home costs $350,000 or less. If the home costs between $350,000 and $450,000 there is a sliding scale. At $450,000 the rebate ends. For the provincial portion, everyone can apply for up to 75 per cent of the HST paid, to a maximum of $24,000.
The catch is that in order to qualify, the new home or condo has to be your primary residence, or you must prove that you have rented it out for at least a year. If you move in on closing, the builder often builds the rebate into the sale price and then applies to the Canada Revenue Agency for the refund on your behalf. Before the builder will do that, you have to sign a document saying that you will move in. If the builder suspects you will not be moving in, they have the right to ask you to pay the rebate on closing.
If you bought the house as an investment and plan to rent it out, you can apply for the rebate immediately as well, but will have to send proof that you closed your deal and a copy of the lease agreement. If you sell the investment property within a year, you have to pay the tax.
Ontario new housing HST rebate details
The lesson is that buyers must understand their obligations if they intend to apply for any HST rebate on a new home or condominium. Either you must move into the home as your primary residence on closing, in which event you can immediately apply for the full rebate, or you must rent it out for at least one year and then apply for the rebate. If you are intending to immediately re-sell your home without moving in, then just pay the full HST amount when you buy the home from the builder, and don’t apply for any rebate.
Please visit the Canada Revenue Agency website for further information and application forms.