The federal government has plans to implement a foreign buyers tax in order to help make the national housing market more accessible for Canadians.
The new measure was announced in the Trudeau government’s Fall Economic Statement 2020.
The statement cites demand from foreign, non-resident investors as a contributor to unaffordable housing prices for many would-be homebuyers across Canada. The tax will be implemented “to help make the housing market more secure and affordable for Canadians.”
Over the coming year, the government will reportedly “take steps” to mandate the national, tax-based measure, which will target the “unproductive use” of domestic housing owned by non-resident, non-Canadians.
“Too often, the price of homes is out of reach for Canadians, in particular for those looking to buy their first home,” reads the document. “The government is committed to ensuring that foreign, non-resident owners, who simply use Canada as a place to passively store their wealth in housing, pay their fair share.”
In addition to acknowledging inaccessibility in the national housing market, The Fall Economic Statement 2020 appears to recognize the financial impacts of the ongoing pandemic on Canadians.
The document reported that “home office expense” tax claims of up to $400 will be permitted in the coming tax season, and that masks — mandatory, in many places across the country — will be sold tax-free from December 6 until they are no longer recommended by public health officials.