Apr 132012
 

Proposed Healthy Renovations Tax Credit Offsets Renovation Costs.

senior livingThe recent Ontario budget announcement included a new tax credit, the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit, aimed at helping seniors with the cost of modifying their homes for better mobility and accessibility. This would help seniors stay in their homes longer.

This tax credit in simple terms is designed to help seniors improve their quality of life, not increase the value of their home.  For example, installation of a wheel chair ramp may be eligible, but replacing windows; probably not.

Example of expenses that may qualify:
walk in shower 

  • certain renovations to permit a first-floor occupancy or secondary suite for a senior
  • grab bars and related reinforcements around the toilet, tub and shower
  • hand rails in corridors
  • wheelchair ramps, stair/wheelchair lifts and elevators
  • walk-in bathtubs
  • wheel-in showers
  • widening passage doors
  • lowering existing counters/cupboards
  • installing adjustable counters/cupboards

You get the idea.

 

Examples of expenses that would not qualify:

  • aesthetic enhancements such as landscaping or redecorating
  • installing new windows or regular flooring
  • installing heating or air conditioning systems
  • replacing insulation

How Much?

The credit would be worth up to $1,500 each year, calculated as 15 per cent of up to $10,000 in eligible home renovation expenses that would help seniors stay safely in their homes. It could be claimed by senior homeowners and tenants, and people who share a home with a senior relative.

Amounts claimed by couples would be subject to a combined maximum of $10,000 in eligible expenses per year. The $10,000 limit would also apply to claims by different people in respect of the same shared home in a year.

Couples who live in separate homes because of medical necessity or because of a breakdown in their marriage or common-law relationship could each claim up to $10,000 of expenses.

Who is eligible?

seniorYou would be eligible if you are a:

  • senior (65 years of age or older by the end of the taxation year for which the credit is claimed) who owns or rents your home, or
  • a son, daughter or other family member[*] living with an elderly relative.

A landlord renting a home to a senior would not be eligible for the credit.

There would be no income test to qualify for this credit.

Full details of the Healthy Renovation Tax Credit can be found here