Buying or selling a home? What you should know

If you bought your home in 2016 or plan to buy a home, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has information that may help you.

Principal Residence Exemption

Sold your principal residence in 2016? File a tax return and claim the principal residence exemption for capital gains.

Starting with sales in the 2016 tax year, you are required to report basic information (date of acquisition, proceeds of disposition (e.g. sale) and address) on your income tax and benefit return when you sell your home to claim the full principal residence exemption. You do not have to pay tax on any capital gain when you sell your home if it was your principal residence for all the years you owned it and did not use any part of it to earn income. A property may qualify as your principal residence for any year that you or certain family members lived in it, if none of you designated another property as a principal residence for that year.

Home buyers’ amount

If you are a first-time home buyer, you may be able to claim $5,000 for the purchase of a qualifying home in 2016.

You qualify for the home buyers’ amount if you did not live in another home owned by you or your spouse or common-law partner that year or in any of the four preceding years.

A qualifying home must be located in Canada and registered in your name and/or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s name according to the applicable land registration system. It includes existing homes, such as single-family houses, semi-detached houses, townhouses, mobile homes, condominium units, apartments in duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, or apartment buildings, as well as homes under construction.

You do not have to be a first-time home buyer if:

  • you are eligible for the disability tax credit; or
  • you acquired the home for the benefit of a related person who is eligible for the disability tax credit.

Home Buyers’ Plan

You may also be eligible to participate in the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP), a program which allows you to withdraw funds from your registered retirement savings plan to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself or for a related person with a disability. You can withdraw up to $25,000 in a calendar year, and you have up to 15 years to repay the amounts you withdraw. Your first repayment starts the second year after the year you withdrew the funds from your RRSPs for the HBP.

To qualify for the Home Buyers’ Plan:

  • you must be a first-time home buyer; and
  • you must have a written agreement to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself.

You are considered a first-time home buyer if, in the preceding four-year period, you did not live in a home that you or your current spouse or common-law partner owned.

You must intend to live in the qualifying home as your principal place of residence within one year after buying or building it. For more tax information for homeowners, go to

Home Buyers’ Plan for persons with disabilities

You do not have to be a first-time home buyer to participate in this plan if you are eligible for the disability tax credit or if you acquired the home for the benefit of a related person who is eligible for the disability tax credit. The purchase must be made to allow the person with the disability to live in a home that is more accessible or better suited to their needs.


For more tax questions or additional information, contact any member of our tax team.

This information was made available at:

What's new for the 2017 tax-filing season

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has identified a number of changes and improves to services, benefits and credits for Canadians. Here is what you need to know:

Our tax team are well informed on these changes and can help answer any questions you may have on the implications or changes. Contact us by telephone at 902-368-3643 or by email