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CRA to search U.S. real estate transactions for Canadians hiding income – Toronto Sun

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The Canada Revenue Agency said Thursday it will look into six years’ worth of American real estate transactions in search of Canadians with unreported income, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

The CRA said in a notice: Bulk United States Real Property Data Re: Canadian Residents: “This information will enhance the Agency’s ability to administer tax programs and to enhance the various tax Acts in order to protect Canada’s revenue base and to support the Agency’s business and research processes.”

The CRA is looking for records on Canadian property transactions in the U.S. including municipal addresses, names of owners, square footage, sales histories and property tax assessments, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

It will look into sales starting in 2014. “The agency requires U.S. real estate and real property data where a Canadian resident is the owner or party to the purchase, sale or transfer,” wrote staff.

Back in 2016, the CRA had ordered all homeowners to report the sale of a primary residence, even though proceeds are not taxable. The penalty for not doing so was a fine of up to $8,000. It was meant to track the taxable sale of non-residences like vacation homes or investment properties.

“In recent years, the agency has increasingly been identifying cases where taxpayers did not report their income from real estate transactions,” staff wrote in a 2019 notice. “The penalties and interest associated with unreported real estate sales can be substantial.”

The federal government and the prime minister have said they do not plan to tax sales of primary residences, though leaked documents indicate they have at least thought about it, reports say.

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RECA Changes Announced – Real Estate and Construction – Canada – Mondaq News Alerts

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To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on Mondaq.com.

On June 3, 2020, major changes were announced to theReal
Estate Act
, the legislation that governs realtors, mortgage
brokers, appraisers, and property managers in Alberta. The changes
stem from a 2019 KMPG review which criticized RECA’s former
counsel, following which the council was dismissed and an
administrator was appointed.

While most of changes relate to governance and oversight of
RECA, of particular note to condominium managers is that they will
officially be managed under RECA. The timeline to complete that
process remains unclear as as it depends on how quickly RECA
develops manager licensing requirements.

Another major change for realtors, brokers and managers is that
RECA will not longer be offering educational requirements.
Education will be provided through qualified third parties.

Further changes are summarized below.

Industries Regulated by RECA

  • Condominium managers will be
    regulated by RECA (once the licensing process is developed)
  • Appraisers will no longer be
    regulated by RECA but still must belong to one of three other
    appraisal industry associations
  • All property management, including
    condominium management will be considered a separate activity (not
    as a “trade in real estate”)

Mandate and Education

Ove the next two years, RECA will transition out of providing
licensing education.RECA will now focus onlicensing and
regulation.
Industry Councils will set out education
requirements and third party providers will provide education.

Governance

RECA’s governance will now be split into:

  1. a)a Board of Directors responsible
    for running RECA composed of one member appointed from each
    Industry Council (below), three public members appointed by the
    Minister and a Chair, to be one of thepublicmembers;
  2. b)four separate Industry Councils,
    being
  1. Residential Real Estate
  2. Commercial Real Estate and Commercial
    Property Management
  3. Residential and Condominium Property
    Management; and
  4. Mortgage Brokers

Industry Councils will be made up three elected industry
members, two public Members appointed by the Minster, and a chair
to be elected within each Industry Council.

Bylaws and Rules

RECA bylaws will be passed by the Board of Directors. Industry
Councils will then set rules to establish industry standards
including education and licencing requirements for their
industry.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Executive Director will be responsible for the
administration of RECA, including hiring of a Registrar who will be
responsible for investigations and enforcement. Annual performance
reviews will be conducted for both the Registrar and the Executive
Director. The RECA bylaws will separate roles of the Board, the
Industry Councils, the ED and the Registrar.

Dispute Resolution

To reduce internal conflicts and limit legal expenses, a dispute
resolution will be put in place for the Board and Industry Council
members by the Board that will be used if:

  • a Board Member or Industry Council
    Member has allegedly engaged in a prohibited act under the Real
    Estate Act or
  • if there are conflicts within
    Industry Council, within the Board or between a Board and an
    Industry Council

Prohibited actions include using confidential information for
personal gain, impeding the purposes of the Board or Industry
Council, breaking rules for their industry in the course of
business. Members may be suspended during the dispute resolution
process or removed is it is determined they violated the Act.

Lifetime Withdrawals

Industry Council will not be allowed to accept a withdrawal if
allegations of fraud or criminal activity have been made that
warrant an investigation. This is to ensure these allegations are
fully investigated and referred to the appropriate authorities.

Government Intervention/Oversight

After a review, the Minister will have the power to dismiss
Board members, Industry Council members, or employees if the review
support this action, without further Order. The Minister will be
able to issue orders for RECA to take specific action without doing
a review first.

New Transparency Requirementsfor minutes,
agendas, salaries/honoraria and disclosure of annual business plan
and financial plan

Separation– Board/Industry council
members will not be on hearing and appeal panels. Hearing and
appeal panels will be made up of licensees and members of the
public.

Originally published 09 July, 2020

About
Mackrell International – Canada
– Scott Venturo LLP is
a full service business law firm in Calgary, AB and a member of
Mackrell International. Mackrell International – Canada is
comprised of four independent law firms in Alberta, British
Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Each firm is regionally based and
well-connected in our communities, an advantage shared with our
clients. With close relations amongst our Canadian member firms, we
are committed to working with clients who have legal needs in
multiple jurisdictions within Canada.

This article is intended to be an overview and is for
informational purposes only.

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Ontario Real Estate Market Trends – RE/MAX Canada News – RE/MAX News

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The coronavirus pandemic in the blink of an eye has changed how we do things on a day-to-day basis. There is still a high degree of uncertainty, with the potential ripple effects continuing for years to come. In its early days, COVID-19 and the related business closures dramatically affected the Canadian housing market. Even now, four months later, it’s still unclear what the impact will be overall. A lot depends on governments, how the economy rebounds, and when people will regain their financial footing. For now, we’re seeing interesting trends in the Ontario real estate market in response to the virus outbreak. Here are real estate market trends in Ontario.

Technology Wave

Real estate was classified as an essential service during the pandemic – people still need homes to live in, and when the pandemic hit, many were already at various stages of the home sale transaction. RE/MAX agents continue to do their part in facilitating safe transactions by distributing safe showing kits. The government of Ontario prohibited open houses in early April, however with loosening social distancing measures, people who now choose to attend in-person showings can do so with personal protective equipment (PPE).

Other safe showing options include leveraging technology in the form of virtual showings and conference calls in place of in-person meetings, helping Canadians adjust to the “new normal.” From 3D panoramic virtual tours to e-signatures, these innovative approaches allow consumers to actively engage in the Ontario market. You may be surprised to learn that you can even close a home remotely. For those who are in a good position to make a home purchase during this time, it is entirely possible to seamlessly complete the transaction while following public health and safety measures.

The Decline in Ontario Real Estate Sales

Early on in the pandemic, housing sales plummeted. This happened not only in Ontario, but across Canada. Some home sellers opted to delay listing their homes and wait out the immediate uncertainty posed by the pandemic. Inventory remains low in Ontario and prices are stable thanks largely to pend-up demand for Ontario real estate.

These Rates May Pique Your Interest

One of the government’s measures to help boost the economy was by slashing the benchmark interest rate to 0.25 per cent. This provided an opportunity for homebuyers to borrow money at an affordable rate. Those who were still in a position to buy a home during the pandemic could borrow at a lower interest rate, or potentially even increase their budget in order to buy the home of their dreams.

The Good News

A combination of factors may encourage homebuyers to purchase homes, even in the wake of uncertainty. The Ontario government has significantly expanded its list of businesses that can reopen which is a positive sign that life is resuming.

Job security will affect the likelihood of Canadians having the financial power to make a large purchase such as a property. Yet, not that social distancing measures are loosening up, businesses are opening their doors again and ramp up hiring.

In the meantime, the Federal Government has rolled out several relief measures to provide Canadians with financial assistance. This can help people get over this hump and set their sights on real estate in the coming months. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Leger on behalf of RE/MAX Canada revealed that 56 per cent of Canadians who are planning to engage in the real estate market say they expect to do so within less than a year (source: RE/MAX 2020 Global Outlook Report).

As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the Ontario real estate market has been impacted in different ways. However, there is opportunity for homebuyers and sellers to stay active in the market thanks to technology and the financial incentives that may encourage more people to choose real estate in Ontario. Many have the comfort of knowing that the Ontario market was on the incline prior to coronavirus, and the latest data maintains a continued upward trajectory.

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Veteran real estate professional calls Boardwalk 'best building west of Toronto' – Chatham Daily News

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A veteran real estate professional, whose firm will be leasing Boardwalk on the Thames apartments, said it is rare to have a building of this quality in a community the size of Chatham.

A veteran real estate professional, whose firm will be leasing Boardwalk on the Thames apartments, said it’s rare to have a building of this quality in a city the size of Chatham.

“I’ve been in this business 35 years. I’m going to call this one of the best buildings I’ve ever seen,” said Derek Lobo, CEO and broker of record at Toronto-based SVN Advisors Inc.

“This is the best building west of Toronto, I think I can say with quite a bit of confidence. Chatham is blessed to have something like that in its downtown.”

With a rental price ranging from $2,000 to $4,400 per month, Lobo said the apartment complex will appeal to a growing market he refers to as “the renter by choice.”

“This person can afford to buy a condo, (but) they choose not to,” he said.

Lobo, who has worked for the Bradley family and did work for Motor Wheel years ago, said he is familiar with Chatham.

He anticipates the primary residents in the Boardwalk will be upscale seniors who want to stay long term in a smaller, but high-quality, living space with no worries about maintenance. He added secondary residents will be professionals moving to the community for work who plan to live in the complex for a few years before purchasing a home.

Although they would be welcome, Lobo doesn’t anticipate many families living there because, for the rent they’ll pay, they could buy a house.

Project developer Victor Boutin has received ample public criticism for the time it’s taken to construct the building after with breaking ground on the project nearly a decade ago.

Lobo said he’s done some consulting work for Boutin in the past and has got to know the family well. The developer, he said, is a craftsman who likes things to be perfect.

“If the vine suffers, then the grapes of the wine are really good,” said Lobo, using an analogy to illustrate Boutin’s painstaking approach.

He believes Boutin is “building something that he’s proud of and he’s put an extraordinary amount of effort into – and love.”

Lobo added Boutin has already had hundreds of people contact him about living in the building.

Boutin has often been optimistic about the building ‘s completion, recently telling The Chatham Daily News people could be moving in by the end of summer.

Lobo believes it would be fair to say the building will be ready for occupancy by the fall. However, he said they won’t start renting apartments until there’s a firm completion date.

SVN sales associate Carolyn Ennest, who has spent a lot of time at the complex, called the finishes “pretty extraordinary” while praising its exterior as an example of “luxurious Victorian-inspired architectural detail.”

She said there is a very European flare to the apartments that feature high, vaulted ceilings, rounded walls and large trim. She added the average developer wouldn’t typically spend the money to add those features.

“He’s really gone beyond and delivered a really high-end, luxury building,” Ennest said.

She said the apartments are large, comparing them to walking into a bungalow, noting the largest units are more than 204 square metres (2,200 square feet).

Lobo said it’s rare to find apartments of that size anywhere.

He anticipates the units will go quickly once they become available to rent.

“This is boutique luxury apartment building. … We’re going to fill it up with people who want this lifestyle,” Lobo said.

eshreve@postmedia.com

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