Changing all your principal residence to a rental or business property

When you change your principal residence to an income producing use such as a rental or business property, you can make an election not to be considered as having started to use your principal residence as a rental or business property. This means, if you make this election, you do not have to report any capital gain when you change its use. However:

  • you have to report the net rental or business income you earn; and
  • you cannot claim capital cost allowance (CCA) on the property.

While your election is in effect, you can designate the property as your principal residence for up to four years, even if you do not use your property as your principal residence. However, during those years:

  • you cannot designate any other property as your principal residence; and
  • you must be a resident or deemed to be a resident of Canada.

You can extend the four year limit indefinitely if all of the following conditions are met:

  • You live away from your principal residence because your employer, or your spouse's or common-law partner's employer, wants you to relocate.
  • You and your spouse or common-law partner are not related to the employer.
  • You return to your original home while you or your spouse or common-law partner are still with the same employer, or before the end of the year following the year in which this employment ends, or you die during the term of employment.
  • Your original home is at least 40 kilometres (by the shortest public route) farther than your temporary residence from your, or your spouse's or common-law partner's, new place of employment.

If you make this election, there is no immediate effect on your income tax situation when you move back into your residence. However, if you change the use of the property again and do not make this election again, any gain you have from selling the property may be subject to tax.

To make this election, attach a letter signed by you to your income tax and benefit return of the year in which the change of use occurs. Describe the property and state that you want subsection 45(2) of the Income Tax Act to apply. If you started to use your principal residence as a rental or business property in the year, you may want information on how you should report your business or property income. If so, see the T4002, Self-employed Business, Professional, Commission, Farming, and Fishing Income guide or the T4036, Rental Income guide.

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