B.C. First-Time New Home Buyers' Bonus
A first-time home buyer is an individual who has never previously owned a primary residence anywhere in the world.
A primary residence is generally a house that you own, jointly or otherwise, and that you intend to live in on a permanent basis. You may have more than one place of residence, but you are considered to have only one primary residence.
- You purchase or build an eligible new home in B.C.
- You and your spouse or common-law law partner are first-time home buyers
- In the case of multiple buyers of a home, each buyer is a
first-time home buyer
- You file a 2011 B.C. resident personal income tax return or, if you move to B.C. after December 31, 2011, you file a 2012 B.C. resident personal tax return (you are not eligible for the bonus if you move to B.C. after December 31, 2012)
- You are eligible for the B.C. HST New Housing Rebate
- You intend to live in the home as your primary residence
- No one else has claimed a bonus for the home
Eligible New Homes
Eligible new homes include:
- new homes (i.e. newly constructed and substantially renovated homes) that are purchased from a builder
- owner-built homes
A substantially renovated home is one where all, or substantially all, of the interior of the building has been removed or replaced. Generally, 90% or more of the interior must be renovated to qualify.
Eligible homes include detached houses, semi-detached houses, duplexes and townhouses, residential condominium units, mobile homes and floating homes, and residential units in a cooperative housing corporation.
Newly constructed and substantially renovated homes
The bonus is available for newly constructed and substantially renovated homes in B.C. purchased from a builder, where:
- a written agreement of purchase and sale is entered into on or after February 21, 2012 and before April 1, 2013,
- HST is payable on the purchase, and
- ownership or possession of the home is transferred before
April 1, 2013.
The bonus is available for new owner-built homes, where:
- a written agreement of purchase and sale for the land is entered into on or after February 21, 2012, and
- construction of the home is substantially complete, or the home is occupied, before April 1, 2013.
The bonus is equal to 5% of the purchase price of the home or, in the case of owner-built homes, 5% of the land and construction costs subject to HST. The maximum bonus is $10,000.
The bonus is reduced based on an individual’s/couple’s net income (line 236 of your income tax return) using the following formula.
- For single individuals, the bonus is reduced by 20¢ for every dollar in net income over $150,000. The bonus is reduced to zero at $200,000 income.
- For couples, the bonus is reduced by 10¢ for every dollar in family net income over $150,000. The bonus is reduced to zero at $250,000 family net income.
Claiming the Bonus
If you claimed the B.C. HST New Housing Rebate, you can apply for the bonus by completing the Application for the B.C. First-Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus (FIN 520) (PDF).
If you are married or have a common-law spouse, your spouse must complete the Schedule A – Certificate B.C. First-Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus (FIN 520A) (PDF). In the case of multiple buyers of a new home, the other co-owners must also complete the Schedule A.
Please note: The person who claimed the B.C. HST New Housing Rebate is the person who must complete the Application for the B.C. First-Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus.
Penalty for False Declaration - make sure that you understand the consequences of making a false declaration. If you knowingly make or participate in making a false statement that results in an excess bonus amount, you may be charged an amount equal to double the amount of the bonus (the bonus plus a penalty equal to the bonus amount).
You must file your application for the bonus on or before March 31, 2015.
You will need to provide the following documentation with your application.
- A copy of your Notice of Assessment of Income Tax for the eligible tax year.
- A copy of your spouse or common-law partner’s Notice of Assessment for that year.
- A complete copy of:A copy of the final, signed purchase and sale agreement for your eligible new home, and/or the land, mobile home or floating home.
- your GST/HST New Housing Rebate Application for Houses Purchased from a Builder (Form GST 190), including the GST 190 British Columbia Rebate Schedule (Form RC7190-BC) or
- your GST/HST New Housing Rebate Application for Owner-Built Houses (Form GST 191) including the GST 191 British Columbia Rebate Schedule (Form RC7191-BC).
- A completed and signed Schedule A – Certification of B.C. First-Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus (FIN 520A) for each co-owner and/or your spouse or common-law partner. A completed schedule must be included for your spouse or common-law partner even if he or she is not an owner of the home.
For owner-built homes, you must keep receipts for all construction costs.
The bonus will be issued after all supporting information is received and your claim has been reviewed. If your claim is adjusted or denied, an explanation will be provided in writing (Notice of Determination).
You have the right to appeal:
- Denied or reduced bonuses
To appeal, send written notice to the Minister of Finance within 90 days of the date on the Notice of Determination. If sent by mail, the appeal is considered to have been received by the ministry on the day it was mailed. A separate appeal must be filed for each Notice of Determination you are disputing.
The appeal must be in writing and sent or faxed to:
Tax Appeals and Litigation Branch
PO Box 9629 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9N6
Be sure to clearly state the following:
- Your name, address and telephone number
- The decision in dispute
- The reasons for the appeal
- The facts on which the appeal is based
If someone is representing you, or you are representing the taxpayer, a signed Authorization (FIN 87) (PDF) allowing us to discuss the matter with the representative must be provided.
Once an appeal is received, the Minister will consider the matter and notify you in writing of the decision.
Please note: If you’ve been charged a penalty or required to repay all or part of the bonus, you have to pay these amounts even while they’re under appeal. You should direct any questions about payment of these amounts to the number listed on your Notice of Determination.
The following legislation applies to the First Time Home Buyers’ Bonus:
- Income Tax Act (B.C.) Part 12