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BC Home Renovation Tax Credit 2016

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Did you know that as an individual over the age of 65 or as a person with a disability that you might be eligible for a home renovation tax credit?  In British Columbia, the Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities is designed to help people with the cost associated with permanent home renovations required to make your home more accessible or functional.  In other words, if you need to make home renovations for your home to be more livable, you may be eligible for the Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities.

Dating to April 1, 2012, the program was originally only available for seniors and family members living with seniors.  However, as of February 17, 2016 this tax credit has been extended to persons with disabilities and/or those family members living with persons with disabilities.  To reflect the broader group now eligible for the credit, the program has been renamed the Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities.

Eligibility

How do you know whether you’re eligible for this tax credit?  That’s simple!  Eligibility to claim the credit for any tax year requires that on the last day of that particular tax year you are a resident of BC and either a senior or family member living with a senior (a senior is somebody over the age of 65 years), or a person with a disability or a family member of a person with a disability.

Any individual who qualifies for the Disability Tax Credit is also eligible for this Home Renovation Tax Credit.  If you are not eligible for the Disability Tax Credit but you must pay for attendant care or nursing home care, you may also be eligible.

Another component of eligibility for seniors or family members living with seniors requires that renovation expenses were incurred on or after April 1, 2012.  Those expenses that date before April 1, 2012 do not qualify for the Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities.

As for persons with disabilities or family members living with persons with disabilities, all home renovation expenses must be incurred on or after February 17, 2016.  Earlier expenses will not qualify for the tax credit.

Sharing the Credit

One benefit of this tax credit is it can be shared between eligible residents of the home.  Any amount up to the maximum amount of the credit can be claimed, with the maximum amount of the credit being $1000 per tax year.  However, keep in mind that only 10% of the qualifying renovation expense can be claimed.  For example, a maximum of $10,000 in total expenses can be claimed as the maximum refundable tax credit of $1000.

Qualifying Renovations

Finally, let’s take a closer look at the renovations that qualify for this tax credit.  First, the renovations must be made to your principle address (i.e. the home in which you live primarily and not a seasonal home).  Moreover, the renovation must fit one of the following criteria:

  • The renovation improves access to the home or land for the senior or person with a disability.
  • The renovation improves mobility or function within the home or land for the senior or person with a disability.
  • The renovation reduces the risk of harm in the  home or on the land for the senior or person with a disability.

If you believe you have qualifying renovations, claim the tax credit on your T1 income tax return and complete the British Columbia Seniors Home Renovation Tax Credit Form (Schedule BC(S12)).

 

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