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Canada's Adult Lifestyle Publication

Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit: what is and isn’t eligible

Seniors can now get a $1,500 annual tax credit on up to $10,000 in renovations — such as wheelchair ramps and bathtub grab bars — making their homes safer to live in as they age, keeping them out of long-term care, reports Rob Ferguson of the Toronto Star.

The tax credit, called the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit and passed in the Ontario legislature Oct. 2, is retroactive to last Oct. 1.

It applies to seniors who own or rent as well as to people who share a home with a senior relative, making it more affordable to help seniors stay living in their homes without slips and falls that could send them to hospital or nursing homes for more expensive care, said Health Minister Deb Matthews.

What is it?

According to the provincial ministry website (fin.gov.on.ca/en/credit/hhrtc), the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit is a refundable Personal Income Tax credit to assist with the cost of permanent home modifications that improve accessibility or help a senior be more functional or mobile at home.

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

Amounts claimed by couples are subject to a combined maximum of $10,000 in eligible expenses per year. Different family members in a shared home can claim the credit. However, the total amount of the eligible expenses that can be claimed, per year, by all of those family members cannot exceed $10,000.

Those eligible include:

• Seniors (65 years of age or older by the end of the taxation year for which the credit is claimed) who owns or rents their home, or a non-senior who is living with a family member who is a senior
• A landlord renting a home to a senior is not eligible

Some examples of eligible expenses include:

• 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
• handrails 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
• 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
• motion-activated lighting
• touch-and-release drawers and cupboards
• automatic garage door openers

What expenses do not qualify?

The provincial website offers examples of expenses that are ineligible – for example, if their primary purpose is to increase the value of the home or if they are for annual, recurring or routine repair maintenance or service.

Examples of ineligible expenses include:

• general maintenance – such as plumbing or electrical repairs repairs to a roof
• esthetic enhancements such as landscaping or redecorating
• installing new windows or regular flooring
• installing heating or air conditioning systems
• replacing insulation

Comments

December 10, 2012
Claudette Clost said:

I had to have a ramp installed last Decembrist for my husband's wheelchair.
I do believe I can claim this could you let me know how to claim.
Also evrery month since
August 2012 I have had to rent a portable lift to for moviing him from his wheelchair to his shower & bed. As a senior I find that very expensive and cannot seem to get any assistance for this lift. My bedroom ceilings are cove type and range from 9' to 10'. I could not afford to put in a ceiling lift so hope I can get some help for the rental fee. (rental to buy)

December 10, 2012
The Editor said:

To inquire about the credit call 866-ONT-TAXS (668-8297) or visit http://www.ontario.ca/taxes-and-benefits/healthy-homes-renovation-tax-credit.

February 5, 2013
Lorraine Farrell said:

I would like to see the Healthy Home Renovation Tax Credit be offered to say people 55+ so you could get your home ready for becoming a senior while your still working and have an income coming in to pay for it.
"Preventive Renovations For Becoming a Senior".

February 5, 2013
Ken Wilkinson said:

I have COPD. My breathing is very affected by air temperature and humidity. Our house is very dry and the dry air affects my COPD making me cough. The coughing causing me to loose my breath and often passout. We are looking into installing a humifidier on our furnace to help breathing easier in the home. Would it be covered in the Healthy Home Renovation Tax Credit. I am 73 and this coughing from the dry air is affecting my health. I would appreciate any help you can give me.

February 7, 2013
Rose said:

My husband is recovering from a stroke & has difficulty walking. Most of our home is done in hardwood flooring except for the bedroom. He finds it hard to walk on carpet, often tripping. The hardwood is much easier for him to walk on. Would we be eligible for tax credit if we had hardwood installed in the bedroom.

February 26, 2013
Carol said:

Can you please clarify the following: In the circumstance where the senior does not have high enough income to have to pay any tax (neither federal or provincial), will the Healthy Home Renovation Tax Credit generate a refund for the taxpayer equal to the 15% of eligible expenses ?

In the past, similar tax credits did not generate refunds and the benefit to the taxpayer was limited only to the amount of tax reduction it generated.

Thank you for your assistance.

February 27, 2013
Advanced HVAC Systems said:

In my opinion heating system repair, service or replacement should be eligible for the tax credit. Indoor air quality is a major concern, especially for my aging customers, many of whom are on a fixed income.

March 12, 2014
Deanna Zibin said:

I installed two bathroom vanities with drawers instead of shelves.This makes access much easier so I don't need to get down on my knees to reach things on the shelf.Can I claim this as a Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit?I am 72.

August 29, 2014
Teresa Miller said:

Heating pump system to elimanate high cost of furnace oil. May be higher is electricity but less cost. I am in mid 60 .s need to be prepare to continue to live and afford to be in my home.

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