Refunds of Land Transfer Tax (including Non-Resident Speculation Tax) and Rebates of Non-Resident Speculation Tax

  • This page outlines the procedures to apply for refunds of land transfer tax, including Non‑Resident Speculation Tax.
  • This page outlines the procedures to apply for a Non-Resident Speculation Tax rebate.
  • The information on this page does not replace the law found in the Land Transfer Tax Act (Act) and related regulations.

Types of refunds and rebates

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

  • tax is overpaid (refund)
  • the applicant qualifies for a first‑time homebuyer refund
  • the transfer has not taken place (refund), or
  • the applicant qualifies for a rebate of Non-Resident Speculation Tax.

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).

Non‑Resident Speculation Tax rebate

A rebate differs from a refund. A refund is a return of an overpayment of tax or of tax improperly paid. A rebate is the return of tax properly paid but subsequently returned under a rebate provision. Rebate provisions for the Non Resident Speculation Tax are set out in Ontario Regulation 182/17. Read more information about the Non-Resident Speculation Tax.

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 occurred 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 or Non-Resident Speculation 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.

To apply for a refund of Non-Resident Speculation Tax, you must submit the Ontario Land Transfer Tax Refund/Rebate - Affidavit Additional Tax on foreign entities and taxable trustees (Non Resident Speculation Tax) with statement 1 completed.

Documentation to support your refund application must be included, as described below.

Direct bank deposit

Get your Ministry of Finance refund or rebate faster with direct deposit! It's easy and secure.

Download: Direct Deposit Request / Direct Deposit Authorization

Address for mailing

Applications for the refund of Land Transfer Tax and Non-Resident Speculation 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
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 Service Ontario 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

Non-Resident Speculation Tax rebates

Documentation supporting the rebate must also be submitted. This includes evidence that all purchasers have made the property their principal residence within 60 days of the transfer to the date of application, and the purchaser exclusively held the property, or held the property exclusively with his or her spouse. In addition:

Permanent resident status: Proof of permanent resident of Canada status was obtained within four years from the date tax was paid.

Foreign Nationals working in Ontario: Proof of legal full-time employment under a valid work permit for one continuous year immediately following the transfer of land.

International Student: Proof of full-time enrolment in an approved institution at a campus located in Ontario for two continuous years immediately following the transfer of land.

Read on: Non-Resident Speculation Tax

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 or rebate

90 days, not to exceed 4 years and 90 days

For a rebate of the Non-Resident Speculation Tax where the purchaser becomes a permanent resident of Canada, the application must be received by the ministry within 90 days of the purchaser becoming a permanent resident of Canada, and no later than four years and 90 days from the date the tax became payable.

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.

For a rebate of the Non-Resident Speculation Tax for international students and foreign nationals working in Ontario, the application must be received by the ministry within four years from the date the tax became payable.

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 and rebates subject to review and audit

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

Where a refund or rebate has been issued, and a subsequent audit determines that the person was not entitled to some or all of the refund or rebate, a notice of assessment may be issued to recover the refund or rebate. The ministry has four years from the date the refund or rebate was paid to issue a notice of assessment for the wrongly paid refund or rebate plus penalty and interest.

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

Non-Resident Speculation Tax rebates

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
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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