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    Improving Home Accessibility for Seniors: Bill 2, Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit
    Posted: 2012-09-18 05:00:45

    ItÂ’s good to be a senior in Canada!

    The government of Ontario has recently proposed a new tax credit called Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit. This credit is to be a new permanent, refundable tax credit that is available to individuals aged 65 or older or to family members that live with elderly relatives.

    The credit is worth up to $1,500 each year. It is calculated as 15% of a maximum of $10,000 incurred on eligible home renovation expenses. Eligible home expenses refer to expenses that a person incurs, on or afterOctober 1, 2011, to make the home a safer place for seniors. The list of eligible expenses includes:

    • Installation of bars and reinforcements around the toilet and shower

    • Installation of hand rails in corridors

    • Installation of wheelchair ramps and elevators

    • Installation of walk-in tubs

    • Installation of hands-free taps

    • Installation of special non-slip flooring

    This list can, of course, be much longer. As long as the renovation improves safety and home access of seniors living there, it would likely qualify for the credit.

    On the other hand, the government is clear about what expenses are not eligible. Anything that is of general maintenance nature (like plumbing or roof repairs) does not qualify. This is to ensure that people do not abuse this credit.

    Interestingly enough, this credit also excludes certain devices such as home medical monitoring equipment, wheelchairs and walker. It also excludes certain services such as home care services and housekeeping services.

    Bill 2, which will put this new credit in force once proclaimed, is in third reading right now and is a step closer to becoming a law. This credit is supposed to be available for the 2012 Income Tax return filing, and no supporting documents have to be submitted. However, that does not mean that CRA cannot ask for them later. Therefore, if you have made home improvements for your senior relatives, make sure to keep receipts and records.

    For more information, visit the Ministry of Finance site.

    Disclaimer: Content on this website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal advice.