Resale homes are exempt from HST, with very few exceptions.
For example, if the home being purchased was first bought by a corporation and therefore GST was never paid on it; or if the home has been substantially renovated from its original structure, it will be subject to HST.
The Canada Revenue Agency defines substantially renovated as follows:
“Major changes have to be made to meet the definition of a substantial renovation. In a major renovation project, the interior of a building is essentially gutted. This type of renovation project qualifies as a substantial renovation. Generally, 90% or more of the interior of an existing house is the minimum that has to be removed or replaced to qualify as a substantial renovation.”
If you are not sure whether a specific home has been renovated enough to incur HST, check with your accountant, lawyer or tax professional.
HST is payable on certain services associated with the purchase of a home, such as legal fees, real estate commissions, moving fees, appraisals, and home renovation services.
New homes are subject to HST, but a rebate is available for buyers. Check with the builder or developer for details.