Changes Proposed for HST on New Housing
June 19, 2009 — The provincial government has announced some proposed changes to the way it would apply the proposed Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) to the purchase price of newly constructed housing. The provincial government has also announced proposed transitional details for newly constructed properties.
The provincial government has announced that it intends to combine the eight percent Provincial Sales Tax with the five percent federal Goods and Services Tax, creating a 13 percent Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
• The HST is NOT YET IN EFFECT. The provincial government has indicated that it intends to bring the HST into effect beginning on July 1, 2010.
• HST will not apply on the purchase price of re-sale homes.
• HST would apply to services such as moving cost, legal fees, home inspection fees, and REALTOR® commissions.
Proposed Changes for New Housing Rebate
HST will apply to the purchase price of newly constructed homes. Originally, the provincial government indicated that it would provide a rebate to ensure that, on average, new homes under $400,000 would not be subject to an additional tax burden. Homes priced between $400,000 and $500,000 would be eligible for a portion of the rebate, and homes priced above $500,000 would be subject to the full HST. However, the provincial government is proposing some significant enhancements to these rebates, as follows:
• Enhanced new housing rebate – The province is proposing to enhance the new housing rebate so that new homes across all price ranges would receive a 75 per cent rebate of the provincial portion of the single sales tax on the first $400,000. For new homes under $400,000, this would mean, on average, no additional tax amount compared to the current system.
• New rental housing rebate – Similar to the enhanced new housing rebate, the province is proposing a rebate for new residential rental properties. This proposed rebate would support affordable rental housing across Ontario.
Proposed Transitional Rules for New Housing
The province is also proposing transitional rules for new housing. Generally, as part of the transitional rules, sales of new homes under written agreements of purchase and sale entered into on or before June 18, 2009 would not be subject to the provincial portion of the single sales tax, even if both ownership and possession are transferred on or after July 1, 2010. The tax would also not apply to sales of new homes under written agreements of purchase and sale entered into after June 18, 2009 where ownership or possession is transferred before July 1, 2010.
Additional detail on the proposed enhancements to the new housing rebate, rental housing rebate, and new housing transition rules is available from the Provincial Government here.