Home Buyers Plan

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Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)

Source: Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) is a program that allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself or for a related person with a disability.

Generally, you have to repay all withdrawals to your RRSPs within a period of no more than 15 years. You will have to repay an amount to your RRSPs each year until your HBP balance is zero. If you do not repay the amount due for a year, it will have to be included in your income for that year.

 

Conditions for participating in the HBP

Only the individual who is entitled to receive payments from the RRSP (the annuitant) can withdraw funds from an RRSP. You can make withdrawals from more than one RRSP as long as you are the annuitant (plan owner) of each RRSP. Your RRSP issuer will not withhold tax on these amounts.

Generally, you will not be allowed to withdraw funds from a locked-in RRSP or a group RRSP.

 

Note: Your RRSP contributions must remain in the RRSP for at least 90 days before you can withdraw them under the HBP, or they may not be deductible for any year.

 

Before applying to withdraw funds under the HBP you must meet the following conditions:

  • You have to enter into a written agreement to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself, for a related person with a disability, or to help a related person with a disability buy or build a qualifying home.
  • You have to intend to occupy the qualifying home as your principal place of residence no later than one year after buying or building it. If you buy or build a qualifying home for a related person with a disability, or help a related person with a disability buy or build a qualifying home, you must intend that that person occupy the qualifying home as his or her principal place of residence.
  • you have to be considered a first-time homebuyer (see below for definition).
  • In all cases, your HBP balance on January 1 of the year of the withdrawal has to be zero.

 

Note: Even if you or your spouse or common-law partner have previously owned a home, you may still be considered a first-time homebuyer.

 

When a withdrawal is made you must meet the following conditions :

  • Neither you nor your spouse or common-law partner or the related person with a disability you help buy or build the qualifying home can own the qualifying home more than 30 days before the withdrawal is made.
  • You have to be a resident of Canada.
  • You have to complete Form T1036 for each eligible withdrawal.
  • You have to receive all withdrawals in the same calendar year.
  • You cannot withdraw more than $25,000.

After all your withdrawals have been made you must meet the following condition :

  • You have to buy or build the qualifying home for yourself, for a related person with a disability, or to help a related person with a disability buy or build a qualifying home before October 1 of the year after the year of the withdrawal.

What happens if you do not meet all the HBP conditions?

You are responsible for making sure that all HBP conditions that apply to your situation are met.

If a condition is not met while you are participating in the plan, your RRSP withdrawal will not be considered eligible. You will have to include the RRSP withdrawal as income on your income tax return for the year you received the funds. If we have already assessed your return for that year, we will reassess it to include the withdrawals.

If you do not meet the conditions to participate in the HBP in the current year, you may be able to participate at a later year.

 

Who is a first time home buyer?

You are not considered a first-time home buyer if you or your spouse or common-law partner owned a home that you occupied as your principal place of residence during the period beginning January 1 of the fourth year before the year of withdrawal and ending 31 days before your withdrawal.

If at the time of the withdrawal you have a spouse or common-law partner, it is possible that only one of you will be considered a first-time home buyer.

Example

In 2007, Paul sold the home that he had occupied as his principal place of residence for five years. He then moved into a rented apartment. In 2007, he met Jane and she decided to move in with him. Jane had been renting her own apartment, and had never owned a home.

Jane and Paul were married in August 2010. They wanted to withdraw funds from their RRSPs to participate in the HBP in September 2010. Since Paul owned and occupied his home during the period beginning January 1 of the fourth year before the year he wants to make the withdrawal, he is not considered a first-time home buyer, so he cannot participate in the HBP in 2010.

However, Jane is considered a first-time home buyer, since she never owned a home and did not live with Paul during the period in which he owned and occupied his home as his principal residence. She can participate in the HBP in 2010, as long as all the other requirements are met.

If Jane does not participate in the HBP in either 2010 or 2011, Paul can participate in the HBP in 2012 as he will not have owned a home that he occupied as his principal place of residence since January 1, 2008. If they want to participate together in the HBP, they both have to wait until 2012 at which time they can withdraw funds under the HBP to buy or build a qualifying home.

 

Exception to the first-time home buyer’s condition

You do not have to meet this condition to participate in the HBP if any of the following situations apply to you at the time you make a withdrawal from your RRSPs under HBP:

  • you are a person with a disability and you withdraw funds under the HBP to acquire a home that is more accessible, or better suited to your needs;
  • you withdraw funds under the HBP to acquire a home for a person with a disability related to you by blood, marriage, common-law partnership or adoption, and the home is more accessible or better suited to the needs of that person; or
  • you withdraw funds under the HBP and give those funds to a person with a disability related to you by blood, marriage, common-law partnership or adoption, to acquire a home that is more accessible, or better suited to the needs of that person.
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