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Land Transfer Tax

Land Transfer Tax in Ontario: Definition & How It Works

Real Estate Law

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You have found your dream home or other real estate but do not have much information on the tax implications. Land transfer taxes may be part of your closing costs if you purchase property in Canada. They are normally based on the amount paid for the land. Depending on your location, the municipality or province might collect land transfer taxes. In different provinces, they might be referred to with different names or have different versions, such as “property transfer tax.” Certain provinces also charge substantially higher transfer fees. In Ontario, the provincial government levies a tax on land purchase or an interest in land called “Land Transfer Tax” at closing, payable by the purchaser. If the property you are purchasing is located within the City of Toronto, purchasers will also be required to pay an additional municipal land transfer tax on top of the LTT.

If you purchase property, your lawyer will collect and pay these amounts upon closing the subject property. You might want to check out the City of Toronto’s official website,, for a comprehensive breakdown of the TLTT calculation formula.

That is why it is important to clearly understand the potential cost of the Land Transfer Tax (and TLTT if applicable) and the payment method while budgeting for your purchase transaction since it will be a significant portion of your closing costs. In addition, it is not the only cost associated with purchasing a home. Some other costs include legal fees, home inspection fees, appraisal fees, title insurance fees, and moving expenses.

However, if you are a first-time home buyer in Ontario, some exemptions and rebates can help reduce the amount of land transfer tax payable. You must meet certain conditions to be eligible for these exemptions or rebates.

There are a few exceptional situations where the land transfer tax is not required. Some are as follows: certain transfers between spouses, certain transfers from an individual to his or her family business corporation, certain transfers of farmed land between family members, and certain transfers of a life lease from a non-profit organization or charity.

In Ontario, real estate acquisition is subject to a mandatory financial obligation known as the Land Transfer Tax (LTT). This tax is imposed on the property’s buyer and calculated based on the purchase price. Its primary purpose is to contribute to provincial revenues. This article provides an overview of the Land Transfer Tax in Ontario, including its definition, calculation, and applicable exemptions.

What is Land Transfer Tax?

What is Land Transfer Tax

The Land Transfer Tax (LTT) is a provincial or municipal tax levied on the purchaser of a property at the time of its transfer of ownership, applicable within certain jurisdictions, including Ontario. This tax is calculated based on the property’s purchase price, following a tiered rate structure that increases with the value of the transaction. Designed as a source of revenue for local governments, the LTT is a significant consideration for buyers, directly impacting the overall cost of acquiring real estate. Certain exemptions and rebates, such as those for first-time homebuyers, are available to reduce the financial burden. The payment of this tax is a mandatory step in the legal process of purchasing property, ensuring that the new ownership is duly registered and recognized.

Calculation of Ontario Land Transfer Tax

The Land Transfer Tax payable amount is calculated based on a sliding scale of tax rates applied to the property’s purchase price. As of the latest regulations, the tax rates are structured as follows:

Effective January 1, 2017, the tax rates for land transfer tax will depend on the date of the agreement of purchase and sale.

If an agreement of purchase and sale is entered into after November 14, 2016, and registration or the disposition occurs on or after January 1, 2017, the tax rates on the value of the consideration are as follows:

  • amounts up to and including $55,000: 0.5%
  • amounts exceeding $55,000, up to and including $250,000: 1.0%
  • amounts exceeding $250,000, up to and including $400,000: 1.5%
  • amounts exceeding $400,000: 2.0%
  • amounts exceeding $2,000,000, where the land contains one or two single family residences: 2.5%.

Calculation of Toronto Land Transfer Tax

In addition to the Ontario Land Transfer Tax, there may be other municipal tax obligations. In Toronto, the Land Transfer Tax (LTT) calculation incorporates an additional municipal tax alongside the provincial LTT, effectively doubling the tax obligation for property purchasers within the city. This municipal tax mirrors the structure of the provincial LTT, applying tiered rates to the property’s purchase price. Buyers in Toronto must, therefore, account for both the provincial and municipal components of the LTT in their financial planning, with first-time homebuyers being eligible for rebates to mitigate these costs. The cumulative effect of these taxes underscores the importance of precise calculation and consideration within Toronto’s real estate acquisition process. The calculator below can be used to calculate Toronto LTT.

Exemptions and Rebates

The Ontario government has implemented several exemptions and rebates to mitigate the financial burden of the Land Transfer Tax on eligible individuals:

  • First-Time Homebuyers Rebate: Eligible first-time homebuyers can receive a rebate. The rebate reduces the total amount of LTT payable for properties.
  • Exemptions for Certain Transfers: Land transfers between spouses and farmland transfers between family members may qualify for exemptions under specific conditions.

Who Pays Land Transfer Tax in Ontario

In Ontario, the Land Transfer Tax (LTT) is paid by the purchaser of the property. This tax applies to all real estate transactions, including acquiring residential, commercial, and industrial properties and land. It is a mandatory cost that buyers must account for in addition to the property’s purchase price. The LTT is payable at the time of registration of the transfer deed with the Ontario Land Registry Office. Essentially, the responsibility for this tax falls exclusively on the buyer, making it a factor to consider when planning and budgeting for a real estate purchase in Ontario.

When Do You Pay Land Transfer Tax?

The Land Transfer Tax (LTT) in Ontario is due at the time of the property transfer registration with the Ontario Land Registry Office. This typically occurs on the real estate transaction’s closing date, when the property’s legal ownership is officially transferred from the seller to the buyer. The buyer must pay the LTT as part of the transaction’s closing costs on this date. Buyers must arrange for the necessary funds to cover the LTT and any other applicable fees and charges to ensure a smooth completion of the property purchase process. The precise timing underscores the importance of financial planning and preparation by the buyer in advance of the closing date.


The Land Transfer Tax is a critical element of real estate transactions in Ontario, contributing significantly to provincial revenues while imposing a notable cost on property purchasers. Legal professionals, real estate agents, and buyers must be well-informed about the LTT’s calculation, exemptions, and rebates to navigate the market effectively. As regulations and rates may evolve, staying updated with the latest information is essential for all parties involved in property transactions within Ontario.

Insight Law Professional Corporation is a real estate law firm located in Toronto. If you are purchasing a property in Ontario, contact us today to see how we can assist you with your transaction and provide further information!

The information provided above is of a general nature and should not be considered legal advice. Every transaction or circumstance is unique, and obtaining specific legal advice is necessary to address your particular requirements. Therefore, if you have any legal questions, it is recommended that you consult with a lawyer.

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