It's not too late to renovate and get the Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC) ... if you don't mind long lines at your local home-improvement store. But you only have exactly one week to do so.
A colleague of mine made a trip to a Big Box home reno supply store this past weekend for the express purpose of adding another $2,000 to her 2009 spend on home renovation items - bringing her to the maximum $10,000 eligible for the HRTC.
She found the crowds off-putting, but the discounts and expedited services very encouraging. The retailer she visited had "HRTC special" signs aplenty, and "72-hour installation" turnaround times to accommodate the mad rush on HRTC services and products.
Know What Qualifies (and What Doesn't)
It might be a good idea to check out all the details at the Canada Revenue Agency website. (Apparently, the Post Office is also handing out the Canada Revenue Agency General Income Tax and Benefit Guide for 2009.)
Basically, the rule of thumb is anything that stays with your property counts for the HRTC. Here are a few items that do qualify that you may not have thought of:
- A new hot water tank
- Home security system
- Blinds or shutters
- Paint (interior and exterior)
- Re-shingling a roof
- Building a shed or fence
Even if you spend as little as $1,000 (but no less) you can get 15% off in tax credits when you file; just be sure you keep all your receipts.
There are rumblings about the federal government extending the deadline for the HRTC - or adding a new one later in 2010 but given how transient ruling governments can be (especially in a minority government!) it might be best to race towards this month's deadline since it is a sure thing (even if you live in a condo).
And remember, you can "double-dip" on your renovation spendings if the products and/or services relate to energy-efficiency, thus qualifying for the HRTC and ecoEnergy Retrofit grants from Natural Resources Canada (and matched by your province in most cases).
How is your renovation spending going? Are you trying to get government money for the HRTC tax credit and/or ecoEnergy retrofit grant money? Leave your comments here.