The Canadian Market
The housing market in Toronto and the suburbs has been booming over the last several years. This has allowed investors from all over the world to cash in. The strategy was to purchase a newly constructed home or condominium unit from the builder and sell it a few months later for profit. This strategy seemed like people had finally figured out how to pull ahead in this struggling economy. For some this had even become a full time job with endless rewards. With the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) only taxing half of the capital gain this was the right way to retain your money.
HST New Housing Rebate
With the CRA looking to increase tax revenues they started reviewing the New Housing Rebate applications and determined a large number of people had claimed the GST/HST New Housing Rebate incorrectly. They were able to determine a large number of investors never even moved into the newly constructed property but they had sold it few months after they took possession. In this case they would not qualify for the rebate and they would be required to pay the HST balance to the CRA. A lot of investors had already sold the property and had failed to collect HST on the sale, which would mean they were still required to pay back the HST. This was a sticky situation with some investors on the hook for over $24,000. In some instances the CRA waited 3 years to reassess the taxpayer. Read more