How to Claim the Home Buyer’s Amount Tax Credit in Ottawa

A non-refundable tax credit represents an amount of money that can be used to decrease one’s taxable amount (income). However if the total amount of these credits exceeds your federal tax, you are not entitled to a refund hence the term non-refundable.

In Canada, first time home buyers are entitled to claim a set amount for a qualifying home that was purchased by them, their spouse or common law partner in a given tax year. This amount is a non-refundable tax credit.


  • 1

    The Amount

    The amount that is claimable for the purchase of a qualifying home by a first time home buyer is $5,000 for the 2011 tax year.

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    A qualifying home must be registered to you and/or your spouse or common-law partner. It must also be located in Canada, and includes existing homes as well as those under construction.

    If you lived in a house you or your spouse/common-law partner owned in the past five years, you do not qualify for this tax credit.

    The following types of establishments qualify:

    - detached, single family homes

    - semi-detached homes

    - town homes (row houses)

    - mobile homes

    - condominium units

    - any apartment (duplex, triplex and larger buildings)

    - any share in a co-operating housing corporation that gives you ownership and an equity interest in a housing unit located in Canada.

    Note: You do not have to be a first time home buyer if you meet one of the following criteria:

    - you qualify for the disability amount; or

    - you acquired the house for a relative who qualifies for the disability amount

    For more information on the criteria required to meet this exception, click here.

  • 3

    How to Claim the Amount

    The claimable amount for those who qualify is $5000. This amount is to be entered on line 369 of the Schedule 1 Federal Tax.

    This amount can be split between you and your spouse/common law partner or between two parties who acquired the home together however the combined amount for the home cannot exceed $5000.

    If you are electronically filing your taxes, keep all the related documents in case you are audited.

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