Transfers that are exempt from Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST)

An exemption from NRST may be available for registered transfers if the transferee is:

  • a nominee
  • a protected person
  • a spouse of
    • a Canadian citizen
    • a permanent resident of Canada,
    • a nominee
    • a protected person

Supporting documentation may be required by the ministry to substantiate all claims for an NRST exemption. Exemptions will not apply if a taxable trustee is a transferee in the conveyance of land subject to the exemption.

All exemptions require that all transferees certify they will occupy the home as their principal residence. This means that at the time of closing the transaction, every transferee intends to occupy the home as their principal residence, living in it as their main residence. Simply designating the home as a principal residence with the Canada Revenue Agency is not sufficient to meet the requirement to occupy the home as their principal residence.

NRST exemptions are only available for transfers of residential property that are registered on title. If there is no registration of the change in ownership, Land Transfer Tax (LTT) and NRST must be paid along with the filing of a Return on the Acquisition of a Beneficial Interest in Land form to the ministry within 30 days of closing the transaction. More information may be found on the Non-Resident Speculation Tax payments page.

Nominee exemption

An exemption from NRST may be available to foreign nationals in the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program if all of the following criteria are met:

  • the foreign national is nominated under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (nominee) at the time of the purchase or acquisition
  • the foreign national has applied or certifies that they will apply to become a permanent resident of Canada before the expiration of their nominee certificate
  • if the foreign national holds the property with any other transferees, those transferees must be individuals who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, nominees or protected persons
  • all transferees must certify that they will occupy the property as their principal residence

If a nominee is acquiring land with their spouse, but the spouse is not a nominee, a protected person, a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, the spousal exemption may still apply.

It is required that the transferee be a nominee on the day of closing to qualify for the nominee exemption. Becoming a nominee after the day of closing will not retroactively qualify you for the exemption, and no refund will be paid.

If the foreign national has applied for permanent resident status prior to their certificate of nomination expiring, that foreign national will still be considered to be a nominee after the certificate expires unless the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program has revoked the nomination.

Protected person (refugee) exemption

An exemption from NRST may be available to foreign nationals with protected person status if all of the following criteria are met:

  • the foreign national is a protected person on whom refugee protection is conferred under section 95 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada)
  • if the foreign national holds the property with any other transferees, those transferees must be individuals who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, nominees or protected persons
  • all transferees must certify that they will occupy the property as their principal residence

If a protected person is acquiring land with their spouse, but the spouse is not a nominee, a protected person, a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, the spousal exemption may still apply.

It is required that the transferee be a protected person on the day of closing to qualify for the protected person exemption. Becoming a protected person after the day of closing will not retroactively qualify you for the exemption, and no refund will be paid.

Spousal exemption

An exemption from NRST may be available to foreign nationals who are in certain spousal arrangements if all of the following criteria are met:

  • the foreign national is a spouse of a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada, nominee or protected person
  • each spouse is a transferee named in the conveyance
  • if the foreign national and their spouse hold the property with any other transferees, those transferees must be individuals who are either
    • Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, nominees or protected persons
    • the spouse of one of the transferees listed above
  • all transferees must certify that they will occupy the property as their principal residence

The definition of spouse, for NRST and LTT purposes, includes either of two persons who are married to each other, or who are not married to each other and who have cohabited in at least one of the following ways:

It is required that transferees be spouses of each other on the day of closing to qualify for the spousal exemption. Becoming spouses after the day of closing will not retroactively qualify you for the exemption, and no refund will be paid.

General LTT exemptions

Exemptions in the Land Transfer Tax Act and its regulations that apply to LTT also apply to the NRST. The deferral and cancellation provisions of LTT for transfers between affiliated corporations also apply to the NRST. For information about the general LTT exemptions, please see the Land Transfer Tax page.

Contact us

If this page or its related pages do not completely address your situation, refer to the Land Transfer Tax Act and related regulations, or contact us by:

Request an interpretation

To obtain an interpretation on a specific situation not addressed, please send your request by:

  • Email: Advisory Services
  • Mail: Ministry of Finance, Advisory Services, 33 King Street West, 3rd Floor, Oshawa ON  L1H 8H9

All requests for an interpretation must include:

  • taxpayer’s full name
  • authorizing or cancelling a representative form sign by the taxpayer (if you are not the taxpayer)
  • all documentation relating to the interpretation request. This could include a copy of the agreement of purchase and sale, statement of adjustments, proof of citizenship status in Canada, a copy of the Transfer/Deed (should the transfer have already occurred).

Forms

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