Homeowner

The New Housing Rebate

The Canada Revenue Agency offers a rebate of GST/HST paid for new homes, materials to build homes and certain renovations. Here’s a look at who can claim this rebate and which types of houses qualify.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the GST/HST new housing rebate, you must have purchased, built or substantially renovated your home. Qualifying housing includes houses, shares in co-operative housing complexes, mobile homes and floating homes.

Additionally, the home must be your primary residence. To be eligible, its fair market value at the time of purchase or upon completion of the renovations cannot exceed $450,000 as of 2015.

If you purchased a home and the land is leased, you have to take into account both the FMV of the home and the land when determining whether your home is under the $450,000 limit.

Houses Purchased from Builders

If you purchased your home directly from a builder or developer, you can request to have the builder claim the credit and pay it to you. To do so, complete Form GST190, GST/HST New Housing Rebate Application for Houses Purchased from a Builder, and have the builder submit it to the CRA on your behalf.

If the builder did not pay you the credit, you may apply for the rebate by completing the same forms. You must submit them to the CRA within two years of purchase.

Owner-Built Homes

If you built your own home, you can also apply for a rebate of the GST/HST you spent while building the house. To do so, complete Form GST191-WS, Construction Summary Worksheet. Next, complete Form GST191, GST/HST New Housing Rebate Application for Owner-Built Houses, and submit both forms to the CRA.

If you owned the land and you paid a builder to build your house, you also have to complete these forms. In both cases, the rebates must be claimed within two years of the date the house is completed.

For example, if you bought a home and land from a developer, you would request the developer to give you the rebate and submit Form GST190 on your behalf. However, if you bought the land and then hired your own architect, builder and workers, you would file GST191 to claim your GST/HST rebate.

Similarly, if you hired a builder to do substantial renovations on your home or if you did them yourself, you also need to file Form GST191 to claim your rebate.

Provincial New Housing Rebates

Besides the rebates offered by the federal government, you may qualify for provincial rebates. As of 2015, residents of Ontario, Nova Scotia and British Columbia are eligible for additional rebates.

Keeping Records

The CRA requires you to keep all of your tax records for six years from the last day of the year for which you are filing. For this rebate, ensure that you keep copies of the purchase and sale agreement if you purchased a home. If you are claiming the rebate for renovations or owner-built homes, keep receipts, invoices and other records.

Also, you should store applicable provincial rebate schedules, calculations worksheets and copies of your rebate application form.