Canada's Condominium Magazine

More Ontario rules: modest help for seniors and refugees and immigrating nominees

Ontario has recently introduced legislation geared toward homebuyers and seniors. If the legislation passes, it should make housing much more affordable — although the intended result isn’t always the same as the final outcome in a real market.

 

The news seems to mostly be about Millennials trying to break into the housing market with sky-high prices. Not forgotten in Ontario’s new measures is some mild help for Seniors who struggle to retain their independence. 

 

Aside from the 15% Non-Resident Speculation Tax (previously reported>>) for non-Canadian citizens, non-permanent residents, and non-Canadian corporations purchasing residential properties in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, several other measures are being introduced designed to help seniors, refugees and immigrating nominees.

Existing Homeowners: No Change

If you are already a homeowner fitting one of the above criteria, then you will not be effected. The new tax will only be applied to residential properties purchased on or after April 21, 2017. Binding agreements made before this date are not subject to the tax. Agricultural land, commercial or industrial land, and multi-residential buildings with more than six units are also excluded. Also, the Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) does not apply when a residential property is acquired by a trustee of a mutual fund, specified investment, or real estate investment trust.

Some additional exemptions also apply, such as in the case of refugees and nominees under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.

 

 

Spouses of refugees, nominees, and Canadian citizens are also exempt, so long as they acquire the property jointly. International students enrolled in an approved institution for at least two years, homebuyers who obtain permanent residency within four years, and foreign nationals who continuously work for at least one year from the purchase date will also have access to rebates. Eligibility for the rebates is dependent upon the foreign national (along with his or her spouse, if applicable) owning the property exclusively.

Seniors Benefits

Seniors will benefit from this new legislation with the addition of the Ontario Seniors’ Public Transit Tax Credit. Beginning on July 1, seniors will receive a refundable credit which is equal to 15% of their eligible public transit costs. This credit will be available to citizens aged 65 and older. This is designed to allow many seniors to live more independently, while maintaining their ability to engage with the community.

 

 

Ontario has been implementing a great deal of changes lately to improve the lives of citizens while also maintaining the safety, efficiency, and well-being of the province. Though these particular changes will raise costs for some citizens and corporations, they will benefit the province and its citizens as a whole by granting them access to more affordable options that they may not have otherwise.

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