A recently enacted government program called the "GST/HST New Housing Rebate" permits homeowners to recoup some of the sales taxes paid out during periods in which new houses were being bought, built, or renovated. It’s possible to receive a rebate of up to $42,500 (subject to change of course, but you get the picture – it’s a pretty good sum) on GST/HST payments paid during periods of home construction or renovation, depending on a number of criteria set out by the Canadian federal government and various provincial governments.
While the criteria for eligibility for the New Housing Rebate can seem a bit impenetrable upon first glance, they are in fact not nearly as complicated as they appear, and the gist is actually quite easy to grasp.
Criteria to qualify
To keep things simple, these criteria must be met in order to qualify for the rebate:
- The house being worked on is your primary place of residence, or will become so upon construction
- An application for the rebate is submitted within two years of completing the renovation or moving in to the house
Applicants who qualify for the rebate receive a non-taxable reimbursement from CRA within four to sixteen weeks of their submission date.
Additionally, in the case of home renovations, it should be noted that:
- Renovations include home additions or conversions from non-residential to residential property status
- Renovations are measured by the area of the house they affect. The total cost of the renovation does not affect a person’s eligibility to receive a government rebate, nor does the extent to which such renovations influence the value of the home
- Renovations qualify for the rebate even if their cost was covered by an insurance company as a result of a fire, flood, etc…
This program represents a great opportunity to get money back from the government, one that is often overlooked by home-buyers as a result of its fairly recent implementation and the government’s reluctance to advertise its existence.
In fact, the New Housing Rebate is often confused with other similar-sounding tax credit programs such as the First-Time Homebuyer Credit.
In truth, however, these two programs are not mutually exclusive and their eligibility requirements differ.
If you think you might be eligible for the GST/HST New Housing Rebate, talk to a specialist to see if the program is right for you.
This blog was written by Gali at Rebate4U Inc., which specializes in government rebate submissions. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the GST/HST rebate.
Josh is the co-founder and CEO of LiveCA.