Realtors, acting for Sellers, are not always checking on whether the Seller is going to be leaving Canada after signing the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, and before the closing of the sale.
Paragraph 17, in the standard Agreement of Purchase and Sale, deals with the non-residency of the Seller on closing. This clause is not being brought to the Seller’s attention, and they are quite surprised to learn that 25% of the sale price, not the equity in the property, must be held back and paid to Revenue Canada, if they have not obtained a Section 116 Clearance Certificate under the Income Tax Act.
The failure to alert Sellers to the need to obtain the Clearance Certificate can delay closings, and in some circumstances, kill deals, if the Buyer is having second thoughts.
The Seller must be a resident of Canada, and the fact that they are Canadian Citizens does not have any bearing on the matter.
It is also important to note that the fact that they are in Canada on the closing day does not necessarily make them residents especially if the truck is packed and as soon as they receive their cheque, they leave the country. Many Lawyers Residency Declarations require the Seller to swear that they will be residents for at least thirty days after the closing.
If on the listing the property, agents determine the residency status, the application information can be gathered and filed immediately with the Canada Revenue Agency upon the Agreement of Purchase and Sale being signed. The Canada Revenue Agency usually needs about 4-5 weeks to issue the certificate so, it is important to get this dealt with immediately. This will save precious time and ensure the Section 116 Clearance Certificate is available on closing. The Seller will be grateful and the agent will receive kudos for being so knowledgeable.
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