General

In the Land Transfer Tax Act there are provisions for both rebates and refunds, which have different functions.

A rebate is the return of tax properly paid but subsequently returned under a rebate provision after all required criteria have been met. Rebate provisions for the Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) are set out in Ontario Regulation 182/17.

A refund is a return of an overpayment of tax or of tax improperly paid.

Rebates

There are three rebates available for foreign nationals who have paid the NRST:

  • Permanent resident of Canada NRST rebate
  • two transitional rebates that are being phased out:
    • Transitional international student NRST rebate
    • Transitional foreign national working in Ontario NRST rebate

For a conveyance that occurs after March 29, 2022, for which the two transitional rebates do not apply, only the Permanent Resident NRST Rebate remains available.

If a rebate application is successful, the entire NRST paid on the purchase of the land will be rebated.

NRST rebates are only available for transfers of residential land that are registered on title.  A rebate cannot be made on NRST paid on an unregistered conveyance of land.

Note that the NRST is payable at the time of the registration of a conveyance. Registrants who fail to pay NRST at registration may be assessed for tax, penalty and interest, even if it is later determined that they are eligible for a rebate.

All rebates require that the home is purchased by only the foreign national who is eligible for the rebate, and their spouse, if applicable. The definition of spouse, for NRST and LTT purposes, is based on section 29 of the Family Law Act. This term 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:

If a foreign national buys the home with another individual, the foreign national and that individual must be spouses of each other on the day of closing for the foreign national to later qualify for a rebate. Becoming spouses after the day of closing will not be sufficient to meet the requirement that both transferees are spouses of each other and any rebate application will be denied.

Rebates will not apply if a taxable trustee is a transferee in the conveyance of land subject to the rebate application.

Permanent resident NRST rebate

A rebate of NRST may be available for a foreign national who becomes a permanent resident of Canada. To qualify for this rebate, the foreign national must have paid the NRST and must meet all of the following conditions:

  • become a permanent resident of Canada within four years from the date of the purchase or acquisition
  • hold the property alone or with their spouse (as defined above) only
  • occupy the property, along with their spouse, if applicable, as their principal residence for the duration of the period that begins within 60 days after the date of purchase and ends when they make an application for the rebate or the rebate conditions have been met, whichever is later

In determining if a person has occupied their home as a principal residence, the ministry looks to the phrase “occupy as a principal residence.” This phrase means the transferees must live in the home as their main residence. Simply designating the home as a principal residence with the Canada Revenue Agency is not sufficient to meet the criteria to occupy the home as your principal residence. For the purposes of Land Transfer Tax (LTT) and NRST, you cannot occupy more than one home as your principal residence. In determining which of two or more homes a taxpayer has occupied as their principal residence, the ministry may consider several factors, including (but not limited to):

  • where the taxpayer sleeps the majority of the time
  • where the taxpayer eats the majority of the time
  • where the taxpayer goes to work or attends school in relation to the two residences
  • where the taxpayer consumes the majority of the utilities (for example, water, sewage, electricity)
  • whether the homes are used for seasonal or recreational purposes

If the two named transferees are spouses of one another, only one of the spouses must become a permanent resident of Canada for the rebate to apply.

The rebate will not apply if a taxable trustee is a transferee in the conveyance of land.

Applications for the rebate must be received by the ministry within 90 days of becoming a permanent resident of Canada. Be aware that the date you are issued or receive a Permanent Resident Card by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is not the date that should be relied on for determining when you became a permanent resident of Canada. This card is usually issued sometime after the issuance of permanent resident status, and sometimes well beyond the 90 days to apply for the NRST rebate. Proof of permanent resident status can include:

  • a Confirmation of Permanent Residence document, signed and dated by an immigration officer
  • a letter from IRCC advising that the application for permanent resident status is complete, that the individual is a permanent resident of Canada

Note: Waiting for the Permanent Resident Card to be issued in order to apply for the NRST rebate may result in the lapse of the 90-day rebate application deadline and result in denial of the rebate.

How to apply

All rebate applications must be made using the Ontario Land Transfer Tax Refund/Rebate Affidavit, along with the following supporting documents:

  1. copy of the registered Transfer
  2. copy of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, and any assignments, with all schedules attached
  3. copy of the Statement of Adjustments (if applicable)
  4. if the value of the consideration is deemed to be the fair market value of the land, any appraisals or documentation that is evidence of the fair market value of the land
  5. proof of payment of LTT and NRST (such as a Teraview docket summary)
  6. proof of occupancy as principal residence within 60 days of day of conveyance and continuing until the application for rebate is received by the ministry, or rebate conditions have been met, whichever is later. Examples of proof of occupancy include copies of moving bills, car insurance bills, bank account records, credit card statements, purchase receipts, and driver’s licence.   Note that utility bills and home insurance are not acceptable proof of occupancy. The ministry reserves the right to request further documentation.
  7. copy of Permanent Resident Card or Confirmation of Permanent Residence. If the Card or Confirmation are not available, other documentation that confirms Permanent Residence Status may be accepted.

The application for rebate must be received by the ministry within 90 days of the transferee becoming a permanent resident of Canada.

Transitional international student NRST rebate

If the land purchased is within the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region (GGH) and if a binding agreement of purchase and sale was signed on or before March 29, 2022, and not assigned to other persons after March 29, 2022, then a foreign national may qualify for the transitional international student NRST rebate.

This rebate is not available with respect to the purchase of land outside the GGH.

A rebate of NRST may be available to a foreign national as a student in Ontario, if the foreign national paid the NRST and meets all of the following conditions:

  • is enrolled full-time for at least two continuous years starting from the date of purchase of the home in an "approved institution", as outlined in Ontario Regulation 70/17 of the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities Act
  • holds the property alone or with their spouse (as defined above) only
  • occupies the property, along with their spouse, if applicable, as their principal residence for the duration of the period that begins within 60 days after the date of purchase and ends when they make an application for the rebate or the rebate conditions have been met, whichever is later

In determining if a person has occupied their home as a principal residence, the ministry looks to the phrase “occupy as a principal residence.” This phrase means the transferees must live in the home as their main residence. Simply designating the home as a principal residence with the Canada Revenue Agency is not sufficient to meet the criteria to occupy the home as your principal residence. For the purpose of LTT and NRST, you cannot occupy more than one home as your principal residence. In determining which of two or more homes a taxpayer has occupied as their principal residence, the ministry may consider several factors, including (but not limited to):

  • where the taxpayer sleeps the majority of the time
  • where the taxpayer eats the majority of the time
  • where the taxpayer goes to work or attends school in relation to the two residences
  • where the taxpayer consumes the majority of the utilities (for example, water, sewage, electricity)
  • whether the homes are used for seasonal or recreational purposes

For transactions that closed on or after March 30, 2022, these rebates are not available if the land has been conveyed to any foreign national who was not a purchaser or assignee (and their spouse if applicable) as stated under the agreement of purchase and sale or assignment of such agreement. If land is conveyed to any person other than the purchaser or assignee (and their spouses), even as a result of a "direction re: title", the rebate will not apply.

Full-time means enrolled in at least 60% (if the individual does not have a disability) or 40% (if the individual has a disability) of what the approved institution considers to be a full course load for the academic year.

As an administrative concession, the ministry will allow the student 30 calendar days from the date of purchase or acquisition of the home to become enrolled in an approved institution.

Since the enrolment requirement starts from when the home is purchased, enrolment in an approved institution prior to the purchase or acquisition of the home does not count towards the two-year enrolment qualifying period.

A complete rebate application must be submitted to the ministry on or before March 31, 2025, or within 4 years after the NRST became payable (whichever is earlier).

The transitional international student NRST rebate will not be available for any transaction that closes after March 31, 2023, due to the timing of the enrolment requirements and the requirement in such a case to submit the rebate application on or before March 31, 2025.

In order to be eligible for an NRST rebate, all of the criteria of one rebate must be met. Criteria of two separate rebates may not be used interchangeably to qualify for an NRST rebate. For example, if a foreign national is enrolled full-time in an approved institution for only one year, and then becomes employed full-time under a valid work permit for the second year, the foreign national will not qualify for either rebate.

How to apply

If eligible for the transitional international student NRST rebate, a complete application must be submitted by the earlier of the following dates:

  • the day that is four years after the day on which the NRST became payable
  • March 31, 2025

All rebate applications must be made using the Ontario Land Transfer Tax Refund/Rebate Affidavit, along with the following supporting documents:

  1. copy of the registered Transfer
  2. copy of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, and any assignments, with all schedules attached
  3. copy of the Statement of Adjustments (if applicable)
  4. if the value of the consideration is based on the fair market value of the land, any appraisals or documentation that is evidence of the fair market value of the land
  5. proof of payment of LTT and NRST (such as a Teraview docket summary)
  6. proof of occupancy as principal residence within 60 days of day of conveyance and continuing until the application for rebate is received by the ministry, or rebate conditions have been met, whichever is later. Examples of proof of occupancy include copies of moving bills, car insurance bills, bank account records, credit card statements, purchase receipts, and driver’s licence.   Note that utility bills and home insurance are not acceptable proof of occupancy. The ministry reserves the right to request further documentation.
  7. proof of enrolment in an approved institution for two continuous years starting from the date of purchase. Proof of enrolment includes:
    • a letter from the registrar of the approved institution advising of the dates of enrolment, or
    • tax receipts T2202 or T2202A

Unacceptable as proof of enrolment includes:

  • letters of acceptance
  • offers of admission
  • emails from the school
  • timetables
  • list of tuition fee breakdown
  • student loan documents
  • invoices for non-tuition expenses or registration deposits/fees
  • student cards

Transitional foreign national working in Ontario NRST rebate

If the land purchased is within the GGH and if a binding agreement of purchase and sale was signed on or before March 29, 2022, and not assigned to other persons after March 29, 2022, then a foreign national may qualify for the Foreign National Working in Ontario NRST Rebate.

This rebate is not available with respect to the purchase of land outside the GGH.

A rebate of NRST may be available to a foreign national as a worker in Ontario, as long as the foreign national paid the NRST and meets all of the following conditions:

  • is employed full-time in Ontario under a valid work permit for a continuous period of one year starting from the date of purchase of the house. Full-time means an employment position that requires no fewer than 30 hours of paid work per week over a 12-month period and no fewer than a total of 1,560 hours of paid work over that period
  • holds the property alone or with their spouse (as defined above) only
  • occupies the property, along with their spouse, if applicable, as their principal residence for the duration of the period that begins within 60 days after the date of purchase and ends when they make an application for the rebate or the rebate conditions have been met, whichever is later

In determining if a person has occupied their home as a principal residence, the ministry looks to the phrase “occupy as a principal residence.” This phrase means the transferees must live in the home as their main residence. Simply designating the home as a principal residence with the Canada Revenue Agency is not sufficient to meet the criteria to occupy the home as your principal residence. For the purpose of LTT and NRST, you cannot occupy more than one home as your principal residence. In determining which of two or more homes a taxpayer has occupied as their principal residence, the ministry may consider several factors, including (but not limited to):

  • where the taxpayer sleeps the majority of the time
  • where the taxpayer eats the majority of the time
  • where the taxpayer goes to work or attends school in relation to the two residences
  • where the taxpayer consumes the majority of the utilities (for example, water, sewage, electricity)
  • whether the homes are used for seasonal or recreational purposes

For transactions that closed on or after March 30, 2022, these rebates are not available if the land has been conveyed to any foreign national who was not a purchaser or assignee (and their spouse if applicable) as stated under the agreement of purchase and sale or assignment of such agreement. If land is conveyed to any person other than the purchaser or assignee (and their spouses), even as a result of a "direction re: title", the rebate will not apply.

As an administrative concession, the ministry will allow the worker 30 calendar days from the date of purchase or acquisition of the home to begin full-time employment under a valid work permit.

Since the employment requirement starts from when the home is purchased, any employment performed prior to the purchase or acquisition of the home does not count towards the one-year full‑time employment qualifying period.

A complete rebate application must be submitted to the ministry on or before March 31, 2025, or within 4 years after the NRST became payable (whichever is earlier).

The transitional foreign national working in Ontario NRST rebate will not be available for any transaction that closes after March 31, 2024, due to the timing of the work requirements and the requirement in such a case to submit the rebate application on or before March 31, 2025.

In order to be eligible for an NRST rebate, all of the criteria of one rebate must be met. Criteria of two separate rebates may not be used interchangeably to qualify for an NRST rebate. As an example, if a foreign national is enrolled full-time in an approved institution for only one year, and then becomes employed full-time under a valid work permit for the second year, the foreign national will not qualify for either rebate.

How to apply

If eligible for the transitional foreign national working in Ontario NRST rebate, a complete application must be submitted by the earlier of the following dates:

  • the day that is four years after the day on which the NRST became payable
  • March 31, 2025

All rebate applications must be made using the Ontario Land Transfer Tax Refund/Rebate form for NRST, along with the following supporting documents:

  1. copy of the registered Transfer
  2. copy of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, and any assignments, with all schedules attached
  3. copy of the Statement of Adjustments (if applicable)
  4. if the value of the consideration is based on the fair market value of the land, any appraisals or documentation that is evidence of the fair market value of the land
  5. proof of payment of LTT and NRST (such as a Teraview docket summary)
  6. proof of occupancy as principal residence within 60 days of day of conveyance and continuing until the application for rebate is received by the ministry, or rebate conditions have been met, whichever is later. Examples of proof of occupancy include copies of moving bills, car insurance bills, bank account records, credit card statements, purchase receipts, and driver’s licence.   Note that utility bills and home insurance are not acceptable proof of occupancy. The ministry reserves the right to request further documentation.
  7. copy of valid work permit, and letter of employment confirming the number of hours of full-time work during the 12 months starting from the date of purchase. Other documentation evidencing proof of employment starting from the date of purchase may be accepted.

COVID‑19 administrative concession

On March 17, 2020, in response to COVID‑19 coronavirus disease, the Government of Ontario declared a state of emergency.

The ministry understands that the effect of COVID‑19 and the state of emergency could make it difficult for individuals who seek an NRST rebate to fulfil the condition that they occupy a property as their principal residence within 60 days after the date of purchase.

Therefore, the ministry applied an administrative concession to extend the period of time within which a person must occupy a property as their principal residence for the purposes of an NRST rebate to 60 days after the day the state of emergency was terminated.

The administrative concession is applied only to purchases that have occurred from January 17, 2020, to July 24, 2020, the date the state of emergency was terminated. For these purchases, all the transferees must have occupied the home as their principal residence on or before September 22, 2020.

For greater certainty, the administrative concession will not apply with respect to purchases that occurred on or before January 16, 2020, or purchases that occur after July 24, 2020, the date the state of emergency was terminated.

In addition, the time limit for filing an application for a rebate was suspended between March 16, 2020 and September 14, 2020, thereby increasing the time limit for the filing of certain claims.  Note that this concession does not apply to meeting conditions to qualify for a rebate.

Requesting a refund for overpayment of NRST

Various reasons for an overpayment of NRST are outlined on the Refunds of Land Transfer Tax (including Non-Resident Speculation Tax) and Rebates of Non-Resident Speculation Tax web page.

If NRST has been improperly paid or overpaid, you may apply for a refund using the Ontario Land Transfer Tax Refund/Rebate form for NRST. Requests for refund of NRST must be received by the ministry within four years from the date on which the NRST became payable. The time limit for filing an application for a refund was suspended between March 16, 2020, and September 14, 2020, thereby increasing the time limit for the filing of certain claims.  Not that this concession does not apply to meeting conditions to qualify for a refund.

You must provide supporting documentation to substantiate all applications for refunds. An application for refund may be made by submitting the following documentation to the ministry within four years of payment of tax:

  1. copy of the registered Transfer, or the Return filed with the ministry if a conveyance was not registered on title to the land
  2. copy of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, and any assignments, with all schedules and amendments attached
  3. copy of the draft Statement of Adjustments (if applicable)
  4. if the value of the consideration is based on the fair market value of the land, any appraisals or documentation that is evidence of the fair market value of the land
  5. any additional documents as may be required to determine the value of the consideration
  6. Authorizing or Cancelling a Representative form(s), completed by each transferee (if applicable)
  7. Completed Land Transfer Tax Affidavit. If the basis of the refund request is that NRST liability is calculated under one of the transitional provisions, this must be specified in the Affidavit.

Direct deposit

The Ontario Ministry of Finance offers a Direct Deposit service where rebate and refund payments are deposited directly into your account at the bank of your choice.

Download: Direct Deposit Request / Direct Deposit Authorization

Contact us

Documents required under the Act can be submitted by email, fax or mail, as per the contact information noted below.

If this page does not completely address your situation, refer to the Act and related regulations, visit our website at ontario.ca/finance or contact us by:

Email: LTTGeneral@Ontario.ca
Fax: 905-433-5770
Telephone toll free: 1-866-668-8297
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-263-7776
Mail: Ministry of Finance Land Taxes Section 33 King Street West Oshawa ON L1H 8H9