Ontario realtors are one step closer to being able to form personal real estate corporations (PRECs) under Bill 104, the Tax Fairness for Realtors Act, 2017, which passed second reading on March 23. The Bill is now moving onto the final stage of debate before a final vote determines if it becomes law.
The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) launched a campaign earlier this month encouraging MPPs to support the Bill through its website, RealtorTaxFairness.ca.
“Realtors are pillars of their communities and hard-working small business owners,” said Tim Hudak, CEO of OREA, in a press release. “Personal real estate corporations will help them offer more services to clients, invest in new technology and create jobs in their community.”
A 2015 study by the Centre for Spatial Economics (C4SE) found that PRECs would have a positive economic benefit for the province, creating between 33 and 89 net new jobs annually and contributing between $9 and $25 million annually to Ontario’s GDP.
“OREA is working to make sure Ontario realtors are treated fairly,” said Ettore Cardarelli, president of OREA. “Most professions in Ontario have the ability to form personal corporations, but not realtors. This legislation is about giving realtors the same business rights as everybody else.”
A technicality in the Real Estate Business Brokers Act, 2002 currently prevents realtors from forming PRECs. Other regulated professions in Ontario, such as accountants, lawyers, health professionals, social workers, mortgage brokers, insurance agents, architects and engineers can all form personal corporations. Other provinces have already moved to allow realtors to incorporate, including British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Nova Scotia.
Bill 104 was reintroduced earlier this month by PC MPP Todd Smith and co-sponsored by NDP MPP Catherine Fife and Liberal MPP Mike Colle. OREA plans to continue encouraging realtors to contact their local MPP prior to the third vote.