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When you buy a house, there are plenty of costs involved in the transaction aside from the purchase price, like mortgage interest fees, home inspection fees, lawyer fees, and so on.

However, one expense that many buyers may not be aware of is the Land Transfer Tax (LTT). 

Each province in Canada – except Alberta and Saskatchewan, which have a lower “transfer fee” instead – applies a Land Transfer Tax to home purchase transactions. Some municipalities charge their own land transfer tax, giving buyers in these areas an additional cost to cover.

Let’s dig deeper into Land Transfer Taxes and find out what you can expect to pay when you purchase a home in each province.

Key Points

  • Land transfer taxes are fees paid by buyers when purchasing a property.
  • Land transfer taxes are charged by a province, municipality, or both.
  • The amount paid in land transfer taxes is based on the purchase price of the home and the land transfer tax rate in the province or municipality.
  • Buyers may be eligible for a rebate on land transfer taxes paid, depending on their circumstances and the location of the property.

What Is A Land Transfer Tax?

When you buy land, you pay a Land Transfer Tax to the province where the transaction takes place. Land transfer taxes are based on the property value, so a higher purchase price will result in a higher LTT. These taxes are also based on a specific tax rate in each province or municipality.

How Are Land Transfer Taxes Calculated? 

Land transfer taxes are calculated by multiplying the property value by the provincial land transfer tax rate. Calculations are divided into price tiers, with different tax rates applicable to each. As the price of a home goes up, so does the overall land transfer tax amount.

For instance, in Ontario, land transfer tax rates increase as follows:

  • Up to and including $55,000: 0.5%
  • Portion between $55,001 – $250,000: 1% 
  • Portion between $250,001 – $400,000: 1.5%
  • Portion between $400,001 – $2 million: 2%
  • Portion exceeding $2 million if the land has one or two single-family homes: 2.5%

To illustrate, let’s use an example of a home priced at $500,000: 

Tax RateProperty valueLand Transfer Tax Amount
0.5%Applicable to the portion of up to $55,000$275
1%Applicable to the portion  between $55,001 – $250,000$1,949.99
($194,999 x 1%)
1.5%Applicable to the portion  between $250,001 – $400,000$2,249.99
($149,999 x 1.5%)
2%Applicable to the portion  between $400,001 – $2 million$1,999.98
(99,999 x 2%)

Add up each answer above to arrive at the total land transfer taxes of $6,474.96.

While you can manually calculate the land transfer taxes yourself, you can also use a land transfer tax calculator online to speed up and simplify these calculations.

Who Pays Land Transfer Tax In Canada?

Buyers are the parties in a real estate transaction who pay the land transfer tax – sellers don’t pay. These transfer taxes are paid on closing day when the title is transferred into the buyer’s name.

First-time home buyers, however, may be eligible for a rebate on the land transfer tax in certain provinces, either for a partial or full refund.

The following will outline the exact land transfer tax rates in each province to help buyers understand what they can expect to pay when buying in their respective provinces.

Ontario Land Transfer Tax

In Ontario, land transfer rates are calculated as follows:

  • 0.5% on amounts up to and including $55,000
  • 1% on the portion between $55,001 and $250,000
  • 1.5% on the portion between $250,001 and $400,000
  • 2% on the portion between $400,001 and $2 million
  • 2.5% on the portion exceeding $2 million if the land has one or two single-family homes

Toronto Land Transfer Tax

In addition to the Ontario Land Transfer Tax, buyers in Toronto will have another transfer tax to pay – known as the Municipal Land Transfer Tax (MLTT) – which has the same rates as the province of Ontario. So, essentially, the land transfer tax would be double when buying in Toronto.

British Columbia Land Transfer Tax

The land transfer tax rate in British Columbia is:

  • 1% on the first $200,000
  • 2% on the portion between $200,000 up to and including $2 million
  • 3% on the portion greater than $2 million
  • 2% on the portion greater than $3 million if the property is residential

Alberta Land Transfer Tax

The province of Alberta doesn’t charge a land transfer tax to homebuyers. Instead, it charges separate land and mortgage registration fees of $50, plus $2 for every $5,000 of the property value. If there’s a home loan involved, buyers would be charged another $50, plus an additional $1.50 for every $5,000 of the loan amount.

Saskatchewan Land Transfer Tax

Like Alberta, Saskatchewan doesn’t have a land transfer tax, but instead charges a title transfer fee to homebuyers that is calculated as follows:

  • $0 for the first $1 to $500
  • $25 on the portion between $500.1 to $6,300
  • 0.4% on the portion over $6,300.01

Manitoba Land Transfer Tax

In Manitoba, the land transfer tax fees are charged as follows:

  • 0% on the first $30,000
  • 0.5% on the portion between $30,001 to $90,000
  • 1% on the portion between $90,001 to $150,000
  • 1.5% on the portion between $150,001 to $200,000
  • 2% on amounts exceeding $200,000

In addition to the land transfer tax, Manitoba also charges a transfer registration fee:

  • $128 for electronic registration 
  • $135 for paper registration

Quebec Land Transfer Tax

Also known as the “welcome tax”, Quebec’s land transfer tax base portions are currently as follows:

  • 0.5% on the first $58,900
  • 1% on the portion between $58,901 to $294,600
  • 1.5% on the amount exceeding $294,600

Within the province of Quebec, each municipality determines its own tax rate. The rate set cannot be any higher than 3%, except for Montreal. 

Montreal Land Transfer Tax

Montreal’s land transfer tax rates are as follows: 

  • 0.5% on the first $58,900
  • 1% on the portion between $58,901 to $294,600
  • 1.5% on the portion between $294,601 to $552,300
  • 2% on the portion between $552,301 to $1,104,700
  • 2.5% on amounts between $1,104,701 to $2,136,500
  • 3.5% on amounts between $2,136,501 to $3,113,000
  • 4% on amounts exceeding $3,113,000

Quebec City Land Transfer Tax

Quebec City’s land transfer tax rates are as follows:

  • 0.5% on the first $58,900
  • 1% on the portion between $58,901 to $294,600
  • 1.5% on the portion between $294,601 to $500,000
  • 2% on the portion between $500,001 to $1 million
  • 2.5% on the portion between $1,000,001 to $2 million
  • 3.0% on the portion equal or exceeding $2 million 

New Brunswick Land Transfer Tax

The land transfer tax in New Brunswick is relatively straightforward. Currently, the transfer tax payable is 1% of the property value, according to the Real Property Transfer Tax Act.

Nova Scotia Land Transfer Tax

In Nova Scotia, every municipality establishes its own land transfer tax – or “Deed Transfer Tax” – which ranges from 0.5% to 1.5% of the purchase price of a property. Here are a few examples of land transfer tax rates in different municipalities in Nova Scotia:

  • Annapolis – 1.5%
  • Antigonish – 1% in the municipality of the County of Antigonish; 1.5% in the Town of Antigonish 
  • Cape Breton – 1.5%
  • Colchester – 1.5% in the municipality of Colchester; 1% in the Town of Stewiacke; 1% in the Town of Truro
  • Cumberland – 1.5% in the Municipality of the County of Cumberland; 1.25% in the Town of Amherst; 1.5% in the Town of Oxford
  • Digby – 1% in the Municipality of the District of Clare; 1% in the Municipality of the District of Digby; 1.5% in the Town of Digby
  • Halifax – 1.5%
  • Inverness – 1.5%
  • Lunenburg – 1.5% in the Municipality of the District of Chester and Town of Bridgewater; 1.25% in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg; 1.5% in the Town of Mahone Bay; 1.5% in the Town of Lunenburg
  • Pictou – 1%
  • Shelburne – 1.5% in the Municipality of the District of Barrington, Municipality of the District of Shelburne, and Town of Lockeport; 1% in the Town of Clark’s Harbour
  • Yarmouth – 1%

Prince Edward Island Land Transfer Tax

Prince Edward Island (PEI) has a land transfer tax rate of 1% of the purchase price or property value, whichever is greater. 

Newfoundland and Labrador Land Transfer Tax

Newfoundland and Labrador’s land transfer tax is also known as the Registration of Deeds Prescribed Fees, which consists of two parts:

  • $100 base fee to cover properties or mortgages less than $500
  • $100 plus 40¢ for every additional $100 worth in property value

Rebates For First-Time Homebuyers

As mentioned earlier, certain provinces (as well as municipalities) offer a rebate on land transfer taxes for first-time homebuyers, including Ontario, British Columbia, and PEI.

Ontario Land Transfer Tax Rebates

First‑time buyers who purchase a house with a value of up to $368,000 will receive a rebate that covers the full land transfer tax. First‑time buyers who purchase a house with a price greater than $368,000 will receive the maximum rebate of $4,000 and have to cover the remaining balance themselves. 

Eligibility

To qualify for the Ontario land transfer tax rebate, the buyer must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
  • Be older than 18 years of age
  • Occupy the home within nine months of buying it
  • Not have owned a home anywhere else in the world
  • Not have a spouse who has owned a home while being your spouse

Toronto Land Transfer Tax Rebates

Eligible buyers in the City of Toronto may receive a rebate for the payment of land transfer taxes of up to $4,475. The eligibility requirements are the same as the provincial requirements listed above, with the addition of the following:

  • If the purchaser is not a Canadian citizen or resident but becomes one within 18 months of the property transfer, they can apply for the rebate.

British Columbia Land Transfer Tax Rebates

In B.C. first-time homebuyers can qualify for either a full land transfer tax exemption or a partial exemption. 

Full Exemption

To receive a full rebate for the land transfer tax, the homebuyer must:

  • Be a citizen or a permanent resident
  • Have lived in British Columbia for the 12 months before the registration of the property, or filed a minimum of two B.C. income tax returns in the past six years
  • Have never owned a principal residence in Canada or the rest of the world
  • Have never taken advantage of a first-time homebuyers’ refund

The property that was purchased:

  • Must be in British Columbia
  • Must be a principal residence
  • Must have a fair market value of $835,000 or less
  • Be 1.24 acres or less

Partial Exemption

If you do not meet the above requirements to receive a full exemption of the land transfer tax, you may be eligible to receive a partial refund, if:

  • The fair market value of the property is more than $835,000 but less than $860,000 (or more than $500,000 and less than $525,000 if the home was purchased before April 1, 2024)
  • The property is larger than 1.24 acres
  • The property has another building in addition to the principal residence

The maximum refund that B.C. first-time homebuyers can receive is $8,000. 

PEI Land Transfer Tax Rebates

First-time homebuyers in Prince Edward Island may be eligible to receive a full refund on their land transfer tax if the following requirements are met:

  • The buyer is 18 years of age or older
  • The buyer is a citizen or permanent resident 
  • PEI has been the principal residence of the buyer for at least the six previous months to the purchasing of the property
  • The buyer has filed two PEI tax returns in the past six years, or the property in question has been the principal residence of the buyer for six months after the registration of the deed
  • This must be the first principal residence for the buyer
  • This must be the first time the buyer is taking advantage of a first-time homebuyers’ refund
  • The property must be occupied by the buyer as their principal residence 

How Much Should I Budget For To Pay Land Transfer Taxes?

As mentioned, each province sets rates for land transfer tax calculations. Plus, the purchase price of your home will play a key role in how much you end up paying in land transfer taxes. 

That said, you should budget for around 1.5% of your home’s purchase price, more if you’re buying an expensive home. Don’t forget that you’ll need to double these taxes if you plan to buy in certain municipalities that charge an additional land transfer tax, like Toronto

Is A Land Transfer Tax Like A Sales Tax On A Home Purchase?

No, land transfer taxes and sales tax on real estate purchases are not the same. Land transfer taxes are charged when a buyer purchases a property and the title transfers from the seller to the buyer. On the other hand, a sales tax may be charged on a newly built or substantially renovated home

That said, rebates may be available for both if you’re eligible. 

How Do I Claim A Land Transfer Tax Rebate?

If you qualify for a land transfer tax rebate, your real estate lawyer will help you fill out the appropriate tax forms to claim the rebate in the province or city where the property is located. 

You have up to 18 months after your new home’s registration to apply for a land transfer tax rebate. If you didn’t claim it right away, you still have time, as long as 18 months from the registration date has not passed. 

Are There Exemptions To Paying Land Transfer Taxes?

Certain exemptions are available, depending on the location of the home and your specific circumstances. For example, in Ontario, exemptions from paying land transfer taxes may extend to certain transfers:

  • Between spouses
  • From an individual to their family business
  • Farmed land between family members
  • Life leases from a non‑profit organization

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot to understand about buying a home, including land transfer taxes. As a buyer, you should find out how much you can expect to pay in land transfer taxes so you can budget accordingly. And just as importantly, be sure to find out if any rebates are available, and if so, how to qualify for them.  

Land Transfer Tax FAQs

Can I roll my land transfer taxes into my mortgage?

No, land transfer taxes cannot be financed with your mortgage. They must be paid in one lump sum at the time of closing. As such, you’ll need to budget for land transfer taxes as part of your overall closing costs.

Are land transfer taxes tax deductible?

No, land transfer taxes are not tax deductible, which means you can’t claim this expense when you file your income taxes. Land transfer taxes are not considered part of your income, so they can’t be deducted to reduce your taxable income.

Which provinces do not have land transfer taxes?

Alberta and Saskatchewan don’t have land transfer taxes, specifically. However, if you buy a home in these provinces, you’ll still have to pay a “property registration fee”.

What’s the difference between property taxes and land transfer taxes?

Property taxes are charged to homeowners annually and are calculated based on the assessed value of the property and the local property tax rate. Land transfer taxes, on the other hand, are payable upon the possession of the property and are only paid once.
Lisa Rennie avatar on Loans Canada
Lisa Rennie

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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