Tax relief for builders won’t mean budget relief for renters – Canadian Affairs

Alan Kenigsberg

Nov 2, 2023

Recently, the federal government announced a rebate of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the construction of purpose-built rental housing. In Ontario, the government also stated in response that it will also provide an exemption on its portion of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) for new rental construction.

However, Alan Kenigsberg, partner in Osler’s Tax Group, does not expect these changes to have the immediate effects needed to address the rental housing shortage in Canada.

“The enhanced rebate currently only applies to projects that begin construction on or after September 14, 2023,” Alan said to Canadian Affairs. “As such, there is unlikely to be any positive effects from the enhanced rebate for several years at best.”

A substantially complete building project is subject to sales tax on the self-assessed market value and under this change the building owners would be rebated the full GST payable.

Subscribers can read the full article in Canadian Affairs (paywall).