Ask an accountant: First-time home buyer’s tax credit

Francesca Giroux, CGA
For the Lakeside Leader

First-time home buyers can claim a non-refundable tax credit of $5,000 for the acquisition of a qualifying home, which will result in $750 being applied against your taxes owing on your 2017 personal income tax return. To be considered a first-time home buyer, you or your spouse or common-law partner must have acquired a qualifying home and you must not have lived in another home owned by you or your spouse or common-law partner in the year of acquisition or in any of the four previous years.

To be considered a qualifying home, the property must be registered in you and/or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s name in accordance with the applicable land registration system (i.e. Alberta land titles). A qualifying home can be an existing home or a home under construction; however, the property must be located in Canada. Qualifying homes are considered to be the following: single-family houses; semi-detached houses; townhouses; mobile homes; condominium units; and apartments in duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, or other apartment buildings. In addition, you must intend to occupy the home, or intend that a related person with a disability occupy the home as a principal place of residence no later than one year after it is acquired.

The $5,000 claim should be entered on line 369 of your tax return, under federal non-refundable tax credits. The claim can be split between you, and your spouse or common-law partner; however, the combined total cannot exceed $5,000. When two individuals jointly buy a home (i.e. two individuals are entitled to the claim) the total of all amounts claimed also cannot exceed $5,000.

Remember, supporting documents of the home purchase do not need to be included with your 2012 income tax and benefit return; however, these documents should be kept in order to be made available to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) if they request it.

Please e-mail your questions to [email protected]

Information provided is of a general nature. As each individual or company’s situation is unique, you may wish to consult with your CPA for information specific to your own needs.

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