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HST/PST Transition Rules for Housing

Blog by Century 21 Amos Realty | April 18th, 2012

 The Provincial Government announced the HST/PST transition rules for housing during the return to the PST on April 1, 2013. You can find the government’s announcement here: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2012/02/transition-measures-support-new-home-buyers-builders.html

Some of the key elements include:

 The B.C. new housing rebate threshold will be increased to $850,000, effective April 1, 2012 with a maximum rebate of $42,500.

A provincial grant of up to $ 42,500 will be available for purchasers of new secondary vacation or recreational homes outside the Greater Vancouver and Capital regional districts priced up to $850,000, effective April 1, 2012.

For newly built homes where construction begins before April 1, 2013, but ownership and possession occur after, purchasers will not pay the seven per cent provincial portion of the HST. Instead, purchasers will pay a temporary, transitional provincial tax of two per cent on the full house price.

The temporary housing transition measures will be in place for two years, until March 31, 2015. The tax only applies to homes where construction begins before the transition date and ownership and possession occur after.

The BC Ministry of Finance has updated their PST in BC website: http://www.pstinbc.ca/buying_goods/buying_a_home

The Canadian Ministry of Finance has also released its transitional rules, with examples related to the sale of real property. The rules note:

In the case of a sale of real property, tax generally becomes payable on the earlier of the day on which ownership is transferred to the recipient and the day on which possession of the property is transferred to the recipient under the agreement of purchase and sale. However, where the property supplied is a residential condominium unit in a condominium complex which has not, at the time possession is transferred, been registered as a condominium, tax is not payable until ownership of the unit is transferred or, if earlier, 60 days following the date of registration.

There are several examples listed in the rules, which can be found here: http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/data/12-017_1-eng.asp

 BCREA is working with legal and tax experts to prepare draft contract language that REALTORS® can include in their listing agreements and Contracts of Purchase and Sale, as well as a series frequently asked questions. This material is expected to be available the week of February 20, and will be posted on the BCREA website as a resource for both REALTORS® and their clients.