Senior Renovations

No not renovating dad; renovating the home so that mom and dad can more comfortably live there for a longer time. Ontario and B.C. have introduced home renovation credits for older taxpayers or their families. The renovations have to improve accessibility or mobility in order to qualify and it is a refundable credit, which is unlike the old federal Home Renovation Tax Credit.

Ontario has the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit which is reported on schedule ON S12. Eligible taxpayers may claim 15 per cent of their qualifying expenses, to a maximum of $10,000, which is a maximum credit amount of $1,500 per tax year.

In B.C., the Seniors Home Renovation Tax Credit (reported on schedule BC S12) can be shared between eligible residents of the principal residence and involve expenses incurred for qualified renovations of the home. The credit is calculated as 10 per cent of qualifying expenses, up to a maximum of $10,000 in expenses, which is a maximum credit of $1,000 per tax year.

Since this is a refundable tax credit you will receive the credit whether you pay income tax or not. Remember that not all renovations qualify. Renovation must assist a senior with an impairment by improving access, mobility or functions to or within the home, or reduce the risk of harm within the home.

Qualifying examples include grab bars in a bathroom, installing a walk-in bathtub, non-slip flooring, wheelchair ramps or stair lifts, hand rails in corridors, and widening doors for easier passage throughout the home. A list of qualifying expenses is available at the B.C. Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit site and at the Ontario’s Finance Website.

Seniors considering renovations may want to check what qualifies first before proceeding. Both of province’s provincial credits require documentation of your renovations. Be sure that you save all of the receipts. As with other credits you should keep the handy in case your return is reviewed and you are requested to provide them.

Ontario and B.C. have taken these steps to allow their seniors to remain in comfortable and familiar surroundings and in a safe environment.



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