Are you waiting to purchase your first home? There is good news on the horizon.
There is a new type of tax-free savings account for first-time home buyers (FTHB) launching in 2023! FTHB’s will be able to contribute $8000 per year to the account and receive a tax deduction for the contributions (much like an RRSP account). The contribution limit will be $40,000 which would last home buyers until 2028 if they allocate the full $8000 in funds per year. The money saved in this new account will grow tax-free until the funds are withdrawn. This new account may increase some short term benefits for potential buyers, but the majority of the advantages will be found in long term planning.
Short Term Benefits 1. Contributing up to your limit to reduce your tax bill shortly before purchasing. For example, Susan puts $8000 into her First Time Home Buyers Savings Account (FTHBSA) in December. She files her taxes in February and gets an additional $2640 back on her tax return due to the contribution to increase her down payment. 2. Optimizing parental gifts For example, Susan’s parents gift her $43,000 in December to purchase a home. She puts $8000 into her FTHBSA and $35,000 into her RRSP. When she files her taxes, she receives $14,190 back on her tax return to increase her down payment. Long Term Benefits 1. Robert turns 18 and his parents put $8000 into his FTHBSA for the next 5 years. The savings are invested and earn 10% per year. When John is 30, he has $86,500 in the account to help purchase his first home. Take Aways The tax deductions created by contributing to the program can be carried forward to higher-income earning years. This could allow Robert (example above) to carry the deductions forward until he earns a higher income to maximize the tax deductions. This could result in an additional $10,000 to $20,000 in down payment when he purchases a home. The new savings account is a great advantage for those who will not be purchasing their first home in the next year. My concern is that this program will not solve the shortage of housing available in many markets and will not do anything to bring down the cost of housing. This program will benefit any FTHB with the resources to contribute to the FTHBSA but will do nothing to help those who are struggling with the rising cost of living and rent.
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