Buying a home is an exciting process with many unforeseen costs. In addition to your down payment, you will also be responsible for paying legal fees, appraisal fees, title transfer fees and taxes to the province or municipality (or both).
This last item is called a land transfer tax (LTT) and applies everywhere except Alberta, Saskatchewan and the three territories, which charge a land transfer fee instead. Despite the differences in terminology, the idea is the same: the buyer pays a one-time fee to the local government each time a property changes hands. Below is detailed information on land transfer tax, fees and refunds:
What is a real estate transfer tax?
Most of the time, the LTT is calculated as a percentage of the sale price of the house and is due when you finalize the purchase of your house. It’s part of your closing costs, which means you’ll need the cash on hand to pay for it at closing.
You can use a land transfer tax calculator to estimate how much you will need to pay. Depending on the value of your home, LTT can easily cost thousands of dollars. Fees charged in Alberta, Saskatchewan and the territories are usually much lower, but what you pay can still be in the thousands depending on the cost of ownership. Finally, in Montreal and Toronto, the tax is calculated differently than in the other cities of their respective provinces. See the table below for more information.
How is the real estate transfer tax calculated?
Each province and territory in Canada imposes costs on transfers of ownership, in the form of fees or taxes. And some municipalities levy a tax called the Municipal Land Transfer Tax (MLTT). Most of the time, the LTT is calculated as a percentage of the value of your home, and most tax rates are marginal, meaning the amount of tax increases as the value of the home increases. Land transfer fees are usually based on the purchase price of the home, and they often come with a mortgage registration fee, based on the size of the mortgage used to purchase the property.
Find out how much you can expect to pay in taxes by entering asking prices and more in the land transfer tax calculator above.
Land transfer duties in one look
The following table provides an overview of land transfer tax or fees paid in each province and territory, as well as Toronto and Montreal, which charge a different rate than their respective province. The amounts shown are based on properties purchased for $711,316 – the average cost of a house in Canada in May 2022.
|Real estate transfer tax||Costs||First-time home buyer (FTHB) and other discounts|
|alberta||$0||Estimated land transfer fee: $334.50. Plus, mortgage registration fees (based on mortgage amount).||N / A|
|British Columbia||$12,226 (provincial)||N / A||FTHB Refund: Full refund for homes purchased for $500,000 or less; partial refund for homes between $500,001 and $525,000.
Exemption for newly built homes: Full rebate for homes purchased for $750,000 or less; partial refund for homes between $750,001 and $800,000.
|Manitoba||$11,946 (provincial)||A flat registration fee of $70.||N / A|
|New Brunswick||$7,113 (provincial)||N / A||N / A|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||$2,943 (provincial)||N / A||N / A|
|Nova Scotia°||$10,670 (municipal)||N / A||N / A|
|Ontario (outside Toronto)||$10,701 (provincial)||N / A||FTHB rebate: up to $4,000.|
|Toronto||$21,402 (provincial and municipal)||N / A||FTHB Rebate: Up to $4,000 from the province and up to $4,475 from the city, for a total potential refund of $8,475.|
|Prince Edward Island||$7,113 (provincial)||N / A||FTHB Rebate: Full refund for homes purchased for $200,000 or less.|
|Quebec (outside Montreal)||$9,170 (municipal)||N / A||N / A|
|Montreal||$10,226 (municipal)||N / A||N / A|
|Saskatchewan||$0||Estimated land title transfer fee: $2,134.||N / A|
|Northwest Territories||$0||Estimated land transfer fee: $1,067. Plus, mortgage registration fees (based on mortgage amount).||N / A|
|Nunavut||$0||Estimated land registration fee: $1,067. Plus, mortgage registration fees (based on mortgage amount).||N / A|
|yukon||$0||Land transfer fee of $350. In addition, mortgage registration fees and possible insurance costs.||N / A|
The °LTT is set by each municipality. The amount shown is based on a home purchased in Halifax.
Fees and Land Transfer Taxes by Province and Territory
Alberta is one of the few provinces in Canada that does not charge LTT. Instead, it charges a Land Registry Fee Transfer and Mortgage Registration Fee.