Assignment of purchase agreement is assignemtn of interest in house
This publication addresses the situation where
- a purchaser (referred to as the first purchaser) enters into a purchase and sale agreement with a builder (Builder A) for the construction and sale of a new house, and
- the first purchaser subsequently assigns the agreement to an assignee (referred to as the assignee purchaser) before Builder A transfers possession or ownership of the house to the first purchaser and before any individual has occupied the house as a place of residence or lodging.
Generally, upon entering into an agreement for the construction and sale of a new house, the first purchaser is considered to have acquired an interest in the house. For GST/HST purposes, the assignment of the agreement to the assignee purchaser is normally considered to be a sale of the first purchaser's interest in the new house. The sale of an interest in a new house is generally taxable where the person selling the interest is a builder of the house.
S. 254(4) mechansim generally not available to assignee of first purchaser
Claiming a GST/HST new housing rebate when there is more than one builder
In some cases, the builder of a new house pays or credits the amount of the GST/HST new housing rebate, and where applicable, a provincial new housing rebate, to the purchaser of the house. In this case, the builder credits the amount of the new housing rebates to the purchaser by reducing the total amount payable for the purchase of the house by the amount of the expected rebates.
Where this happens, the purchaser and the builder have to sign Form GST190, GST/HST New Housing Rebate Application for Houses Purchased from a Builder, and the builder has to send the form to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). As the purchaser receives the amount of the rebate from the builder, the builder may claim the amount as a credit against its net tax when it files its GST/HST return.
Only one new housing rebate application can be made for each new house. Therefore, an assignee purchaser cannot submit a rebate application through a builder (Builder A) for the tax paid to Builder A on the purchase of the house and submit a second rebate application through the first purchaser (the assignor), or directly to the CRA, for the tax paid to the first purchaser on the purchase of the interest in the house.
In such cases, the assignee purchaser may want to file their new housing rebate application directly with the CRA rather than through Builder A. In this way, the assignee purchaser can include in the new housing rebate application the tax paid to Builder A and the tax paid to the assignor in determining the amount of their GST/HST new housing rebate and, where applicable, a provincial new housing rebate.