The Seniors Home Renovation Tax Credit, worth up to $1,000 per year, is available to seniors, or family members sharing their home, whether they rent or own. Started in the 2012 tax year, the maximum credit is $1,000 annually, calculated as 10% of eligible permanent home renovation expenditures, for costs incurred on or after April 1, 2012.
An “eligible individual”, who is able to claim the tax credit, is an individual who:
- was resident in BC on the last day of the taxation year, and
- was a senior, or a qualifying relation of a senior, at the end of the taxation year in which a qualifying expenditure was paid in respect of a qualifying renovation to the individual’s qualifying principal residence.
A “senior” is an individual who is 65 years of age or older at the end of the taxation year.
A “qualifying relation” of a senior is a child, grandchild or other family member living with the senior, according to the information on the BC website (see link below). This would include parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren and other descendants. It would also include brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews (including in-laws), but likely not cousins or more distant relatives.
Generally, an expenditure will qualify for the tax credit if it is part of a renovation or alteration of a “qualifying principal residence” of a senior or of the land on which the residence is situated, if it is undertaken:
- to enable the senior to gain access to, or to be mobile or functional within, the residence or the land, or
- to reduce the risk of harm to the senior within the residence or the land, or in gaining access to the residence or the land
The renovation must be:
- of an enduring nature and integral to the residence or the land on which the residence is situated, or
- related to the purchase and installation of a modular or removable version of an item of a type that can otherwise be installed as a permanent fixture to the residence or the land, including modular ramps and non-fixed bath lifts.
The following are examples of eligible expenditures:
- upgrades to improve accessibility, including handrails, grab bars, walk-in bathtubs, wheel-in showers, and raised toilets
- wheelchair ramps, lifts and elevators
- motion-activated lighting
- certain renovations to allow a first-floor occupancy or secondary suite for a senior relative
- widening passage doors
- lowering existing counters/cupboards
- installing adjustable counters/cupboards
- light switches and electrical outlets placed in accessible locations
- door locks that are easy to operate
- lever handles on doors and taps, instead of knobs
- pull-out shelves under counter to enable work from a seated position
- non-slip flooring in the bathroom
- a hand-held shower on an adjustable rod or high-low mounting brackets
- additional light fixtures throughout the home and exterior entrances
- swing clear hinges on doors to widen doorways
- creation of knee space under the basin to enable use from a seated position (and insulation of any hot-water pipes)
- relocation of tap to front or side for easier access
- hands-free taps
- touch-and-release drawers and cupboards
Some expenditures that are not eligible for the tax credit:
- general maintenance, including roof repairs, windows, flooring, insulation and painting
- standard appliances, including side swing ovens and appliances with front located controls
- services, including home care, housekeeping and gardening
- landscaping or redecorating
- installing new windows or regular flooring
- installing heating or air conditioning systems
- replacing insulation
- equipment for medical monitoring and home security
- wheelchairs and walkers
- vehicles adapted for people with mobility limitations
- fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors
The refundable tax credit will be claimed when the personal tax return is filed. If all or part of the expenses are also eligible for the medical expense tax credit, they can still be claimed as part of the seniors’ renovation tax credit.
See BC Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit on the BC government website.
We encourage you to contact one of our knowledgeable accounting staff at White Kennedy if you require help understanding what you can and cannot expense with your home renovation. With accounting offices in Penticton, West Kelowna and Osoyoos, we offer excellent accounting advice to help you prosper.
The information presented is only of a general nature, may omit many details and special rules, is current only as of its published date, and accordingly cannot be regarded as legal or tax advice. Please contact our office for more information on this subject and how it pertains to your specific tax or financial situation.
Sourced from www.taxtips.ca