Did you know? For the first time in recorded Canadian history, there are more citizens over the age of 65 than there are under the age of 15. Incredible right? It’s a combination of families having fewer children, the baby boomer generation becoming senior citizens, and Canadians living longer.
The Canadian government has long taken notice of this trend and has begun to put more thought into the long-term impact of an aging population on the national and provincial budgets.
They’ve come to realize two things:
- Canadians want to live in their own homes for as long as possible
- Helping Canadians age-in-place is not only better for Canadians, but it can also be more affordable when compared to funding long-term care facilities.
And that’s part of the reason why we now have the Home Accessibility Tax Credit (HATC).
Home Accessibility Tax Credit? What is it?
What better way to reduce the tax burden of funding expensive long-term facilities than to offer Canadians tax relief on age-proofing their home?
The HATC is a non-refundable tax credit worth up to $1,500. Qualified individuals can receive 15% in tax relief on up to $10,000 in eligible renovations. The tax credit took effect in 2016 and is an annual tax deduction, meaning if you require more accessible renovations in the following tax season then you can again deduct eligible renovation expenses from your federal taxes.
If you’re over 65 or have a disability tax certificate, then you are a qualifying individual.
If you support a qualified individual, you may also qualify for tax relief.
- Spouse or common-law of a qualified individual
- Relative caretaker of a qualified individual
Is your home eligible?
Your primary residence, if owned by you or your partner, is eligible. If you have more than one eligible home, the maximum claim is still only $10,000 total (e.g., $4,000 for home A and $6,000 for home B).
Other possible eligible dwellings are the homes of caretakers who support qualified individuals. If a caretaker owns their home and the qualified individual ordinarily lives there, it likely qualifies.
What renovations qualify?
Generally, if the renovation is permanent and either helps you access your home or reduces your chance of injury, then it should qualify.
Examples of renovations that should qualify:
- Grab bars and rails
- Roll-in shower units
- Accessible shower pans
- Walk-in bathtubs
- Wheelchair lifts
- Widening your doorways
- Permits for construction
- Labour costs from professionals
- Equipment rentals, and more.
Renovations that probably don’t qualify:
- The cost of maintenance or repairs
- Labour costs from family members or yourself
- Furniture or household appliances
- Electronic home-entertainment devices
- Housekeeping, gardening, or security costs, and more.
How to claim the tax credit
It’s always best to consult the actual CRA website when it comes to claiming tax credits. That said, to claim the home accessibility tax credit you’ll need to complete Schedule 12 (the home accessibility tax credit)
Make sure you keep invoices, receipts, and agreements as you’ll need some of this information to fill out the Schedule 12, plus if the CRA ever requests supporting documents you’ll want to have them on hand.
You may be able to claim this expense a few times!
Your renovation may also qualify for the medical expense tax credit, or other provincial accessible home tax credits, which means extra tax relief for eligible home renovations.
Tax relief is always welcome, especially when it comes to age-proofing your home so you can age-in-place. We hope you enjoyed reading and we wish you luck in your accessible renovations!
Do you have any experience with the Home Accessibility Tax Credit? What accessible renovation would you use the tax credit on? Any questions? We’d love to hear from you.
If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter below.
The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide specific financial, investment, tax, legal, accounting or other advice to you, and should not be acted or relied upon in that regard without seeking the advice of a professional.
The views and opinions express herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the view of Accessibility Professionals Inc. Accessibility Professionals Inc. does not guarantee the quality, accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the information provided. Accessibility Professionals Inc. assumes no obligation to update the information. Accessibility Professionals disclaims all warranties, representations and conditions regarding use of the information provided.