Buying and selling property as a way to make a profit can be a smart move as long as you do your research and know how to report it at tax time.
When you buy property with the main intention of selling for a profit, you are engaged in the business of property flipping. This often means you buy a property, take possession, and do some renovations. After the property is improved, you sell it and any profits become part of your income.
You may choose to live in the property while making improvements. However, this does not entitle you to the principal residence exemption, if the intention was always to buy, improve and sell for profit. When buying and flipping a property, you must report any profit as business income.
Property flipping may also involve buying and selling a property before its official sale or construction—a process called an “assignment sale”, when the buyer of a property assigns the legal rights and obligations of their contract of purchase and sale to a secondary buyer. You must report the money you make on all real estate transactions, including flips and assignment sales, of both pre-construction and resale homes, to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
While property flipping is legal, there are specific tax rules to keep in mind:
- The profits you make from flipping real estate are generally considered to be fully taxable as business income.
- The principal residence exemption does not apply to property flipping.
- These transactions may also be subject to GST/HST which you would be responsible for remitting to the CRA. This is particularly the case for new or substantially renovated homes.
For more information about tax considerations when buying and selling houses, visit: Canada.ca/taxes-buying-real-estate-to-sell.