Canada Announces Changes to Capital Gains Tax for Secondary Properties

Canada Announces Changes to Capital Gains Tax for Secondary Properties
May 1, 2024

The recently released Canadian government budget proposes changes to the capital gains inclusion rate for secondary properties, including cottages. These changes aim to address housing affordability challenges and could impact Canadians inheriting or selling recreational properties.

Understanding Capital Gains Tax

When you sell a property for a profit (capital gain) in Canada, a portion of that gain is subject to taxation. The capital gains inclusion rate determines what percentage of the profit is considered taxable income.

Changes to Capital Gains Inclusion Rate

Previously, the capital gains inclusion rate for secondary properties (cottages, vacation homes, investment properties) was 50%. This meant that only half of the profit from the sale was added to your taxable income.

The new budget proposes a tiered inclusion rate for secondary properties, effective June 25th, 2024:

  • The first $250,000 of the capital gain will continue to be subject to a 50% inclusion rate.
  • Any capital gain exceeding $250,000 will be subject to a higher inclusion rate of 66.67%.

Impact on Owners

The impact of these changes on owners will depend on the property's value and appreciation. Here's a breakdown of potential scenarios:

Scenario 1: Lower Value Cottage

Let's say Mary bought a cottage for $200,000 and sells it for $300,000, resulting in a capital gain of $100,000. Under the old rules, $50,000 would be added to her taxable income.

Under the new rules, the entire gain falls under the 50% inclusion rate. Mary's taxable income would still be $50,000.

Scenario 2: Higher Value Cottage

John purchased a lakeside cottage for $500,000 and is now selling it for $1 million, resulting in a capital gain of $500,000.

Under the old rules, $250,000 would be added to his taxable income.

With the new tiered system, the first $250,000 remains at a 50% inclusion rate, but the remaining $250,000 is subject to the higher 66.67% rate. This translates to:

Taxable income from the first $250,000: $250,000 x 50% = $125,000
Taxable income from the remaining $250,000: $250,000 x 66.67% = $166,675
Total taxable income: $125,000 + $166,675 = $291,675

As you can see, John's taxable income from the sale has significantly increased by $41,675 under the new rules.

Planning and Considerations

For Canadians inheriting or selling cottages, careful planning is crucial. Here are some considerations:

  • Tax implications: Consult with a qualified tax advisor to understand the exact impact of these changes on your specific situation. Factors like ownership structure and holding period can influence the tax burden.
  • Estate planning: Strategies like incorporating the cottage property or utilizing trusts could potentially minimize tax liabilities for future generations.
  • Timing: If you're considering selling a secondary property, the effective date of these changes (June 25th, 2024) might influence your decision-making timeline.

Impact on Housing Market

The potential impact of these changes on the broader housing market remains to be seen. Some speculate it might incentivize owners to sell secondary properties before the new rules take effect, potentially increasing supply in the short term. However, the long-term effects require further analysis.

Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty is committed to keeping our clients informed about developments that may impact their real estate decisions. We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions.

Please note: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered tax advice.

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