In Ontario there are two programs available to help the first time home buyer.
The most widely used one is The Home Buyers Plan (HBP) offered through Revenue Canada. Please see this for more information.
The second is the Land Transfer Tax Refund Program. This is applicable only to first time purchasers of newly constructed homes.
This is a brief overview of a program called 'The Homebuyers Plan' (HBP) that is offered through Revenue Canada on behalf of the Government of Canada. This program is designed to assist Canadians in using their RRSPs to provide funds as downpayment monies for their FIRST home purchase.
You have to be considered a first-time home buyer
Generally, if you want to withdraw funds from your RRSPs to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself, you have to meet the first-time home buyer's condition before you can do so. You are not considered a first-time home buyer if, at any time during the period beginning January 1, 1995, and ending 31 days before your withdrawal in 1999, you or your spouse owned a home that you occupied as your principal place of residence.
A qualifying home is a housing unit located in Canada. This includes existing homes and those being constructed. Single-family homes, semi-detached homes, townhouses, mobile homes, condominium units, and apartments in duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, or apartment buildings, are all qualifying homes. A share in a co-operative housing corporation that entitles you to possess, and gives you an equity interest in a housing unit is also a qualifying home. However, a share that only provides you with a right to tenancy in the housing unit is not considered a qualifying home.
You have to Intend to occupy the qualifying home as your principal place of residence
When you withdraw funds from your RRSPs under the HBP, you have to intend to occupy the qualifying home as your principal place of residence no later than one year after buying or building the home. Once you occupy the home, there is no minimum period of time that you have to live there.
You cannot withdraw more than $25,000.00
You can withdraw up to $25,000.00 from your RRSPs under the HBP. You can make more than one withdrawal as long as the total of your withdrawals is no more than $25,000.00. If you buy the qualifying home together with your spouse or other individuals, each individual can withdraw up to $25,000.00.
Some RRSP's such as locked-in or group RRSP's do not allow you to withdraw funds from them. Your RRSP issuer can give you more information about the types of RRSPs that you have and whether or not withdrawels under the HBP can be made from them.
if you withdraw an amount from an RRSP to which you made a contribution during the 89-day period just before your withdrawal, you might not be able to deduct the contribution you made.
Repaying your withdrawals
Over a period of no more than 15 years, you have to repay to your RRSPs the amounts you withdrew under the HBP. Generally, each year you have to repay 1/15 of your original HBP balance until the full amount is repaid to your RRSPs. If you participate in the HBP in 2004, your 15-year repayment period starts for the year 2006, and ends for the year 2020. You can choose to begin your repayments earlier, but your repayment period will remain the same. Any repayments made before you are required to start your repayments will reduce the actual amount you have to repay for 2004.
Situations where the repayments have made to be in less than 15 years
Additional repayment rules apply if an HBP participant:
Exception to the first-time home buyer's condition
Under proposed changes, starting in 1999, you do not have to meet the first-time home buyer condition to participate in the HBP if any of the following situations applies to you:
For further information regarding this program, call your area CIR agent, your local CMHC office, or simply go to www.ccra.gc.ca
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