—Peter Tomlinson, CCH Canadian Limited


On June 1, 2012, New Brunswick increased its land transfer tax rate from 0.25% to 0.5%. In light of that recent change, this seems like a good time for a basic review of the various land transfer taxes and fees in effect in the provinces and territories.Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island levy a land transfer tax, or property transfer tax, applicable on the purchase and sale of real property, payable when the transfer is registered. In Quebec, this is referred to as “duties on the transfer of immovables”. Although the remaining provinces and territories do not technically levy a land transfer tax, they do charge registration fees based on the value of the property being transferred. These fees, which can be significant in some cases, are sometimes informally referred to as land transfer tax, but the rates are generally less than the land transfer taxes applicable in the other jurisdictions.In certain jurisdictions, there may be additional land transfer taxes imposed by individual municipalities. Except for Nova Scotia, where the rates are set by individual municipalities, and the land transfer tax imposed by the City of Toronto, this article will focus on taxes and fees imposed by a province or territory.

Example of Taxes and Fees

To provide a brief comparison of the various rates across jurisdictions, it is useful to consider an example. The following taxes or fees apply to the purchase of a $200,000 property located in the province or territory specified below:

  • Nova Scotia—$0 to $3,000 (depending on the municipality)
  • British Columbia—$2,000
  • Prince Edward Island—$2,000
  • Quebec—$1,750
  • Ontario—$1,725 (plus an additional $1,725 municipal tax if the property is located in Toronto)
  • Manitoba—$1,650
  • New Brunswick—$1,000
  • Newfoundland and Labrador—$898 (plus a similar amount to register a mortgage)
  • Saskatchewan—$600
  • Northwest Territories—$300
  • Nunavut—$300
  • Alberta—$90
  • Yukon—$73