The Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP) is a government program that allows home buyers to withdraw up to $25,000 from their Registered Retirement Saving’s Plan (RRSP) to put towards buying or building a new home.
Before you can withdraw funds, you have to be entered into a written agreement that specifies whether you will be buying or building your new home. You also must occupy this space no later than a year after buying or building this new home.
Unless you are a person with a disability or you are helping a related person with a disability buy or build a qualifying home, you have to be a first-time home buyer to withdraw funds from your RRSP(s) to buy or build a qualifying home.
You are considered a first-time home buyer if, in the four-year period, you did not occupy a home that you or your current spouse or common-law partner owned. Even if you or your spouse or common-law partner has previously owned a home, you may still be considered a first-time home buyer. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, it is possible that only one of you is a first-time home buyer.
The four-year period begins on January 1st of the fourth year before the year you withdraw funds and ends 31 days before the date you withdraw the funds. For example, if you withdraw funds on March 31, 2019, the four-year period begins on January 1, 2015 and ends on February 28, 2019.
Can you participate in the HBP later?
If you are not considered a first-time buyer now, you may be considered a first-time home buyer later, once the four-year period has passed. For example, if in 2013 you sold the home you lived in before, you may be able to participate in 2018 or if you sold the home in 2014, you may be able to participate in 2019.
Once those conditions are met each person can withdraw up to $25,000 tax-free from their RRSP for a new home. Couples, including common-law, can withdraw up to $50,000. You will not pay income tax on these amounts as long as these funds will be repaid into an RRSP in the future.
Existing homeowners can also use this program to purchase an accessible home or a home for a disabled dependent relative. The intended individual must qualify for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) and this home must be more accessible or better suited to the care of this individual.