The first-time home buyers’ program reduces or eliminates the amount of property transfer tax you pay when you purchase your first home. If you qualify for the program, you may be eligible for either a full or partial exemption from the tax.
If one or more of the purchasers don’t qualify, only the percentage of interest that the first-time home buyer(s) have in the property is eligible.
For example, if you acquired 60% interest in the property and another person acquired 40% interest but only you meet the qualifications, only your 60% would receive the exemption.
Do You Qualify?
To qualify for a full exemption, at the time the property is registered you must:
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Have either:
- Lived in B.C. for at least a year immediately before the date you register the property
- Filed at least 2 income tax returns as a B.C. resident in the last 6 taxation years immediately before the registration date
- Have never owned a registered interest in a property that was your principal residence anywhere in the world at any time
- Have never received a first time home buyers’ exemption or refund
and the property must:
- Only be used as your principal residence
- Have a fair market value of $500,000 or less
- Be 0.5 hectares (1.24 acres) or smaller
You may qualify for a partial exemption from the tax if the property:
- Has a fair market value less than $525,000
- Is larger than 0.5 hectares
- Has another building on the property other than the principal residence
Find out the amount of your exemption if you qualify.
Foreign entities and taxable trustees are not eligible for the exemption. If you’re an individual who doesn’t qualify because you’re not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, but you become one on or before the first anniversary of the registration date, you may apply for a refund of the property transfer tax. To apply for a property transfer tax refund in this case, call 236-478-1593.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about the first-time Home Buyers Program or other real estate matters, please let us know.
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