This past spring, the federal government delivered its budget with few significant changes for investors: no changes to the capital gains inclusion rate or federal income tax rates. Many initiatives address the hot housing market. Here are some highlights:
Tax-Free First Home Savings Account (FHSA). The federal government proposed a new account to help Canadians save for their first home. Expected to begin in 2023, the account will have a lifetime contribution limit of $40,000, with an annual limit of $8,000. Contributions will be tax deductible, similar to the RRSP, and withdrawals will be tax free, similar to the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). When the FHSA was originally proposed in the 2021 election campaign, it came with an age limit. This was removed in the most recent budget. If this change stands, a recent article in the popular press suggests that tax-planning opportunities may be available to older Canadians by using the FHSA as a savings tool. Stay tuned for updates as the rules are finalized and details become clearer.
Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit. This proposed refundable tax credit offers up to $7,500 by allowing qualifying families to claim 15 percent of up to $50,000 in eligible renovation and construction costs incurred to construct a secondary suite for a senior or adult with a disability.
Residential Property Flipping Rule. Under proposed rules, property sold that is held for less than 12 months would be considered “flipping” and any profits would be subject to full taxation as business income (with certain exceptions). Where the new rule applies, the Principal Residence Exemption would not be available.
Small Business Deduction. Under current rules, access to the small business deduction is reduced when a Canadian-controlled private corporation has taxable capital greater than $10 million, reducing to nil with taxable capital of $15 million or more. The budget proposes to change the formula such that the small business deduction will not be reduced to nil until the corporation has taxable capital of $50 million.
Minimum Tax for High Earners. The federal government announced an intention to revisit the current Alternative Minimum Tax regime with a view to ensuring high-income earning Canadians pay a minimum level of tax. Further details are expected in the 2022 fall economic update.
At the time of writing, these proposals have not been enacted into law. For greater detail, please see the Government of Canada website: https://budget.gc.ca/2022/home-accueil-en.html
This article was originally published in the Summer 2022 newsletter, "Challenging the Trend." Click here to view.