Refunds of Land Transfer Tax

Published: January 2017
Content last reviewed: January 2017

  • This page outlines the procedures to apply for refunds of land transfer tax.
  • The information on this page does not replace the law found in the Land Transfer Tax Act (Act) and related regulations.

Types of refunds

The Minister of Finance may refund all or part of the land transfer tax paid when:

  • tax is overpaid
  • the applicant qualifies for a first‑time homebuyer refund, or
  • the transfer has not taken place.

Overpayment of tax

Examples of overpayment of tax are:

  • Error in the calculation of tax paid, e.g., an incorrect value of the consideration is declared when registering a document electronically.
  • Wrong rate of tax applied to the value of the consideration, e.g., the taxpayer incorrectly indicates the land contains at least one and not more than two single family residences, resulting in the calculation of land transfer tax using a higher rate of tax.
  • Double payment of tax on the same conveyance, e.g., when land transfer tax is paid on the registration of a caution or notice of agreement of purchase and sale, and then paid a second time on registration of the Transfer/Deed to the same taxpayer.
  • Reduction in the amount of the value of the consideration, e.g., the minister reduces the value of the consideration under the authority of subsection 1(2) of the Act (reduction of consideration, land taken under statutory authority).
  • Payment of tax where no tax is payable, e.g., some transfers are exempt from tax by regulation (refer to a list of exemptions at the end of this page).

First‑time homebuyers  

A refund of land transfer tax, may be available to first‑time homebuyers:

  • up to $2,000 for registrations and dispositions that occur before January 1, 2017, and
  • up to $4,000 for registrations and dispositions that occur on or after January 1, 2017.

This refund is usually claimed at the time of registration. If not, the refund may be claimed directly from the ministry. For details, see Land Transfer Tax Refunds For First‑Time Homebuyers.

Transfer has not taken place

A refund may be available where land transfer tax has been paid on the registration of a caution or notice of any kind (e.g., a notice of an agreement of purchase and sale), and the transfer has not taken place, has not been assigned, and is at an end.

The deletion of a notice or caution from title does not of itself provide evidence that the interest has not been assigned or the agreement is at an end. As evidence, the purchaser must confirm that:

  • no action for specific performance has been or will be launched
  • there are no further negotiations with the vendor to amend the agreement, and
  • there has been no assignment of the purchaser's interest.

Application for refund

To apply for a refund of land transfer tax, you must submit a written request setting out the reasons for the refund. There is no standard application form. Documentation to support your refund application must be included, as described below.

Address for mailing

Applications for the refund of land transfer tax must be forwarded to the Land Taxes Section of the Ministry of Finance at:

Ministry of Finance
Land Taxes Section
33 King Street West, 3rd floor
Oshawa ON  L1H 8H9

Toll‑free: 1‑866‑ONT‑TAXS (1‑866‑668‑8297)
Fax: 905‑433‑5770
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1‑800‑263‑7776

Please note land registration fees are not refundable as part of the Land Transfer Tax Program and should not be included in the amount of refund claimed.

Enquiries regarding land registration fees should be directed to ServiceOntario at the Land Registry Office where the document was registered. Visit land registry office locations for addresses and phone numbers of land registry offices in Ontario.

Basic documentation

Supporting documents

The following documents must accompany every refund application:

  • Copy of the registered transfer that is the basis of the refund application.
  • Evidence that tax was paid,
    • for electronic land registrations: a copy of the docket summary which relates to the transaction
    • for paper registrations: a copy of the cancelled cheque by which the applicable tax was paid.
  • Copy of the agreement of purchase and sale, including all schedules, amendments and assignments of the agreement.
  • Copy of the statement of adjustments.

Additional documentation

Exemptions

If tax has been paid on a transfer and an exemption applies, the documentation supporting the exemption must also be submitted.

Reduction in the value of the consideration

Where the value of the consideration is reduced as a result of land being purchased to replace expropriated land, please refer to Land taken under Statutory Authority.

First‑time homebuyers

If first‑time homebuyers have not claimed a refund at registration, a refund may be submitted to the Ministry of Finance directly.

For more information on this refund, please refer to Land Transfer Tax Refunds For First‑Time Homebuyers.

Transfer has not taken place

Where the refund is with respect to a transfer that has not taken place, the following must also be submitted:

  • a letter from the purchaser verifying that:
    • the transaction is at an end
    • the purchaser did not acquire an interest in the land
    • the agreement has not been assigned, and
    • no action for specific performance has been or will be launched.
  • a copy of the withdrawal of notice or caution, or any mutual release or agreement bringing the matter to an end. NOTE: The deletion of a notice or caution from title does not of itself provide evidence that the interest has been assigned or that the agreement is an end.

Time limits for applying for a refund

18 months

An application for a refund by a first‑time homebuyer must be received within 18 months from the date of registration or disposition.

Four year time limit

For most land transfer tax refunds, the application must be received by the ministry within four years from the date tax was paid.

No time limit

There is no time limit to claim a refund for a transfer that has not taken place.

Points to consider

Additional information

The minister may require additional documents and information to verify refund eligibility.

Refunds subject to review and audit

All refund applications are subject to initial review and subsequent audit. Where a person is not entitled to a refund, in whole or in part, a statement of disallowance will be issued and any additional tax will be assessed.

Where a refund has been issued, and a subsequent audit determines that the person was not entitled to some or all of the refund, a notice of assessment may be issued to recover the refund.

The minister may assess or reassess any person within four years from the day the tax became payable. However, there is no time limit on assessments where a person has:

  • made any misrepresentation that is attributable to neglect, carelessness or willful default
  • committed any fraud, in supplying any information under the Act, in making any affidavit required by the Act, or in omitting to disclose any information, or
  • failed to deliver any return required by the Act.

Regulatory exemptions from Land Transfer Tax

The following is a summary of land transfer tax exemptions contained in the regulations to the Act.

Oil and gas pipe lines easements

Certain transfers between spouses

Conveyances of family farms

Conveyances of family businesses

Mineral lands

Employee to employer

Toronto Islands Ontario

Hospital restructuring

Life lease interests 

Municipal water/sewage transfer

Certain charity reorganizations

Additional information

If this page does not completely address your situation, refer to the Act and related regulations, visit our website at ontario.ca/finance or contact:

Ministry of Finance
Land Taxes Section
33 King Street West, 3rd floor
Oshawa ON  L1H 8H9

  • 1‑866‑ONT‑TAXS (1‑866‑668‑8297)
  • Fax: 905‑433‑5770
  • 1‑800‑263‑7776 for teletypewriter (TTY)
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