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Tax Breaks and Property Sales

Manson Slik, December 31, 2012


There are many expenses accrued when it comes to selling a home and moving. Fortunately, for homeowners in Ontario, there are some tax benefits you can take advantage of when it's time to sell.

For home sales, a primary residence is not taxable as an estate, nor does HST/GST apply. However, if the home has not been lived in, for example, if the owner has died and the beneficiaries are not using it, you may be eligible for deductions around its sale. The house is an asset awaiting liquidation, so the costs applied to its sale (auction fees, advertising, depreciation etc.) can be legitimate deductions.

When moving within Canada, you can make eligible deductions if you are a student, or employed or self-employed. You must be moving at least 40km closer to your place of employment or school. Eligible expenses include transportation and storage costs, travel expenses, temporary living expenses (up to 15 days), and incidental costs. You can also claim up to $5000 in expenses to maintain your former residence while you try to sell it. The costs of selling your residence, as well as cost of your new residence are deductible if the sale was a result of your move. This includes legal or notary fees.

In all cases, if you are unsure, consult the Canada Revenue Agency's website, or meet with an accountant or lawyer familiar with the tax code.

Written by Manson Slik

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