Principal residence exemption: Would a senior get a tax credit score for promoting their home in the event that they transfer out?


— David

The principal residence exemption permits a home-owner to promote their dwelling and obtain the proceeds tax-free. A house can embody a home, an residence, a cottage, a cellular dwelling, a trailer or perhaps a houseboat. 

Principal residence exemption, in accordance with the CRA

There are a couple of necessary standards from the Canada Income Company (CRA) to assert the principal residence exemption, David. One is that the taxpayer should ordinarily inhabit the house for every year that the exemption is claimed. That doesn’t essentially imply that they should dwell within the dwelling on the time of the sale. This can be a widespread false impression. I’ve even come throughout individuals who mistakenly suppose that shifting right into a rental property and dwelling there for a yr earlier than they promote it makes the proceeds tax-free. Information: It doesn’t.

The principal residence exemption relies on every year of possession. For example, if somebody owned a home and a cottage for 10 years, then bought their dwelling and moved into their cottage and lived there one other 20 years, they can declare the principal residence exemption for each properties. That’s, they could declare the principal residence exemption for his or her home for the ten years it was owned, after which declare a prorated principal residence exemption for his or her cottage. The prorated exemption can be primarily based on the 20 years out of 30 years (2/3 or 66.6%) that the cottage was the one property they lived in and owned (extra particulars to comply with on the method). 

Curiously, a cottage could be claimed as a principal residence even for those who solely dwell in it for a part of the yr. The principal residence exemption just isn’t for the house you primarily dwell in, however for any dwelling that you just ordinarily inhabit over the yr. 

Yearly of possession counts 

To dig slightly deeper on the method for the principal residence exemption, there’s a particular “plus 1” rule that provides one yr to the years of possession when calculating the exemption. 

The reason being in order that for those who promote and purchase a property in the identical yr, you’ll be able to nonetheless deal with each properties as your principal residence in that yr. It additionally means if somebody strikes out of their home and sells it the subsequent yr, the property might qualify as their principal residence for that further yr. 

To promote or hold a house for a senior 

One query for you, David: Why the is property not being bought regardless of the senior shifting right into a retirement residence? I admire this generally is a delicate topic. For a home-owner who’s beginning to lose their independence, they could not need to promote their dwelling or transfer out within the first place. Or they could need to reserve the appropriate to maneuver again dwelling, even whether it is unlikely to occur. For kids, the house will be the one they grew up in and they’re emotionally hooked up to it.


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