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THE B.C. FIRST-TIME NEW HOME BUYERS' BONUS

Subject to approval by the legislature, the B.C. government intends to implement a temporary BC First-Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus. Effective February 21, 2012, to March 31, 2013, the bonus is a one-time refundable personal income tax credit worth up to $10,000.

Requirements to Qualify for the Bonus

ELIGIBLE FIRST-TIME NEW HOME BUYER

You will qualify as a first-time new home buyer if:
»» You purchase or build an eligible new home located in B.C.;
»» You, or for couples, you and your spouse or common law partner, have never
previously owned a primary residence;
»» You file a 2011 B.C. resident personal income tax return, or if you move to B.C. after December 31, 2011, you file a 2012 B.C. resident personal income tax return (you will not be eligible for the bonus if you move to B.C. after December 31, 2012);
»» You are eligible for the B.C. HST New Housing Rebate; and
»» You intend to live in the home as your primary residence.

ELIGIBLE NEW HOME

An eligible new home includes new homes (i.e., newly constructed and substantially renovated homes) that are purchased from a builder and that are owner-built. The bonus will be available in respect of new homes purchased from a
builder where:

»» A written agreement of purchase and sale is entered into on or after February 21, 2012;
»» HST is payable on the home (e.g., HST will generally be payable if
ownership or possession of the home transfers before April 1, 2013 – see
further details below); and »» No one else has claimed a bonus in respect of the home.

The bonus will be available in respect of owner-built homes where:

»» A written agreement of purchase and sale in respect of the land and building is
entered into on or after February 21, 2012;
»» Construction of the home is complete, or the home is occupied, before April 1, 2013; and
»» No one else has claimed a bonus in respect of the home.
 
A substantially renovated home is one where all or substantially all of the interior of a building has been removed or replaced.  Generally, 90% or more of the interior of the house must be renovated to qualify as a substantially renovated home (90% test).

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