A transfer tax is payable in most provinces on any acquisition of real property. There is no such tax in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.
In British Columbia, the general rate is 1 percent on the first $200,000 of the fair market value of the property and 2 percent on the balance of the fair market value of the property, subject to possible exemptions for first time home buyers.
In Manitoba, the general rate is 0 percent on the first $30,000 on the fair market value of the property, 0.5 percent on the fair market value of the property that exceeds $30,000 without exceeding $90,000, 1 percent on the fair market value of the property that exceeds $90,000 without exceeding $150,000, 1.5 percent on the fair market value of the property that exceeds $150,000 without exceeding $200,000, and 2 percent on the fair market value of property that exceeds $200,000.
In Nova Scotia, the land transfer tax (called a “deed transfer tax”) payable on the sale price depends on the municipality in which the property is located. The applicable rate ranges from 0 percent to 1.5 percent, the latter being the maximum allowed by law.
In New Brunswick, the land transfer tax payable is 0.25 percent of the assessed value of the property or consideration for the transfer, whichever is greater. The tax is payable at the time a deed is tendered for registration.
In Ontario, the general rate is 0.5 percent on the first $55,000 on the value of consideration of the property, and 1.0 percent on the value of consideration that exceeds $55,000 without exceeding $250,000. An additional tax of 0.5 percent (i.e. 1.5 percent) is payable on that portion of the value of consideration that exceeds $250,000. If the value of the consideration exceeds $400,000, and the land contains at least one and not more than two single family residences, an additional 0.5 percent tax (i.e. 2 percent) applies to the value of the consideration that exceeds $400,000. It should be noted that there are exceptions available for first time home buyers. The City of Toronto levies an additional land transfer tax, also subject to possible exemptions for first time home buyers.
In Prince Edward Island, the tax is computed at the rate of 1 percent of the greater of the consideration for the transfer and the assessed value of the real property. The tax is payable when the deed is tendered for registration. First time home buyers are exempt from payment of the real property transfer tax.
In Quebec, the rate is 0.5 percent on the first $50,000, 1 percent on the amount exceeding $50,000 without exceeding $250,000 and 1.5 percent on the excess. If the transferred property is located in the City of Montreal, an additional tax of 0.5 percent (i.e. 2 percent) is payable on that portion of the amount that exceeds $500,000 without exceeding $1 million and a rate of 2.5 percent is applied on any portion of the amount that exceeds $1,000,000. The tax in Quebec is computed on the highest consideration paid, the consideration agreed for, or the fair market value of the property. This tax is payable upon the registration of the transfer of the property.
Canada, by necessity, facilitates one of the most liberal trading environments in the world. Although an ardent supporter of the World Trade Organization (the WTO), since the Doha Round of negotiations at the WTO faltered, Canada has pursued an ambitious strategy to expand its network of bilateral and regional trade agreements. Thus, Canada offers an ever expanding positive trading environment, presenting market access and other trade liberalizing opportunities that can be exploited. However, certain obligations undertaken in various trade agreements also place limits on the laws and regulations governing not only Canada’s trading regime, but also many domestic laws and regulations.
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