A tax credit for modifications to help Ontario seniors make modifications in their homes to improve accessibility is now available.
The Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit Act, 2012, was passed at Queen’s Park. It created a permanent, refundable personal income tax credit to help seniors aged 65 and older with the cost of permanent home modifications to help improve accessibility in their homes.
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. It can be claimed by seniors who are home owners and tenants, as well as people who share a home with a senior relative.
The new tax credit will help create jobs essential to the health of the province’s housing market, encourage the use of professional contracts and deter underground economic activity. It will also help seniors remain in their homes longer.
Through the Ontario Real Estate Association, REALTORS® in the province advocated for a home renovation tax rebate for home owners. In April 2012, OREA appeared before the provincial government’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs to support the rebate. Although OREA feels that the new tax credit is narrow in scope, it is a good first step towards a larger rebate program.
Seniors or people living with a senior family member can claim the tax credit on their annual personal income tax return. Eligible expenses incurred on or after October 1, 2011, qualify for the credit. For detailed information on qualifications and the application process, contact the Ontario Ministry of Finance at 1-866-668-8297 or visit www.fin.gov.on.ca.