Joint tenancy does not avoid capital gains tax

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JoinIn fact, it could make things worse.

I have a lot of clients who ask about adding a child on to their house or a vacation property in order to avoid probate taxes. Usually, this is a bad idea. For one specific reason, it is often a very expensive idea.

Even if the property is your principal residence, your child will eventually sell it. If he or she already has a home, then they will sell that property as a secondary residence. If the value has gone up between the time they went on title and the time it is sold, they will pay capital gains on that increase.

It’s even worse if it’s a secondary residence, because not only will there be capital gains tax at the time your child sells it, but you will also have to pay capital gains tax at the time that you transfer it to your child. Even if your child doesn’t pay you anything for the property, for CRA, it is a deemed sale and tax is owing at that time.

If you’re thinking about doing this, get advice from an accountant first.

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