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Unlocking Tax Savings for First-Time Home Buyers: What You Need to Know for This Year’s Tax Season

by | Mar 29, 2024

Unlocking Tax Savings for First-Time Home Buyers: What You Need to Know for This Year's Tax Season

Unlocking Tax Savings for First-Time Home Buyers: What You Need to Know for This Year's Tax Season

Unlocking Tax Savings for First-Time Home Buyers: What You Need to Know for This Year’s Tax Season

To Note Before Reading: As Canada’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive undergoes significant changes, it’s crucial to stay informed. No new applications will be accepted after March 21, 2024, with all submissions required by midnight on March 21. The shared-equity program offers home buyers 5% or 10% of a home’s price toward a down payment, with borrowers repaying the original amount plus 5% or 10% of any gain in the home’s value, capped at 8% per year. Since September 2019, the program has assisted 23,000 home buyers with approximately $285 million until September 2023, falling short of its $1.25 billion goal for 100,000 people. 

Unlocking Tax Savings: The First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit

As the calendar flips to another tax season, Canadian first-time home buyers have a unique opportunity to leverage tax incentives tailored to their journey. Chief among these is the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC), recently bolstered by legislative changes.

Understanding the HBTC: A Path to Savings

The enhanced HBTC now offers first-time home buyers a non-refundable income tax credit of $10,000—twice its previous amount. This upgrade translates to potential tax savings of up to $1,500, providing a significant financial boon.

Claiming the HBTC: Simplified Process for Maximum Benefits

Accessing the HBTC is refreshingly straightforward. When filing taxes for the year of home purchase, simply input the Home Buyer’s Amount of $10,000 on Line 31270 of your income tax return. This credit, calculated at the lowest personal tax rate, can be shared with a spouse or common-law partner, but the combined total claims must not exceed $10,000.

Navigating Eligibility: Key Criteria for HBTC Claimants

To qualify for the HBTC, purchasers (or their spouses or common-law partners) must buy a qualifying home registered in their name. The property can encompass various types, including single-family houses, townhomes, condos, and more. Importantly, applicants must be first-time home owners, defined as individuals who haven’t owned property in the preceding four years.

Additional Assistance: Exploring Home Buyer Programs

Beyond the HBTC, the federal government offers a range of programs to support first-time home buyers. From the Home Buyers’ Plan, enabling tax-free withdrawals from RRSPs, to the shared equity First-Time Home Buyer Incentive and the First Time Home Buyers Savings Account , opportunities abound to ease the financial burden of home ownership. We will write a blog next week to touch on more of these subjects.

Provincial Offerings: Localized Support for Home Buyers

Provincial governments may also extend specific home buying programs, such as land transfer tax refunds, tailored to enhance affordability for first-time buyers. Exploring these localized incentives can further amplify savings during the tax season.

Conclusion: Seizing Opportunities in Tax Season

As Canadian first-time home buyers embark on their tax-filing journey this year, a myriad of opportunities await to unlock substantial savings. By capitalizing on the enhanced HBTC and exploring additional federal and provincial programs, individuals can navigate tax season with confidence and financial acumen, all while realizing their dream of homeownership.

Next week we will touch on other tax credits to watch out for and the FHSA (First Time Home Buyers Savings Account) to talk about how you can maximize your tax benefits before you even buy a home!

As always, we are happy to chat and get you on your way in the real estate world. Give us a call anytime!

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