New Tax Credit for Seniors Retrofitting their Homes

Ontario has just passed new legislation (effective October 1) called the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit. It allows seniors (and relatives living with seniors, but not landlords renting to seniors) to claim a maximum $ 1,500 tax credit against provincial income taxes for certain retrofits. These include things like grab bars, new light switches, ramps etc.  Here’s a list of what’s  considered eligible:

  • 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

Receipts must be kept but do not need to be submitted, and the tax credit can be claimed in this year’s taxes (2012).

As you know, I do regular downsizing seminars and often get asked about these costs, so this is great news for downsizers!

Here’s the link to the Ontario government website with the details: if you need any clarification, be sure to contact your accountant.

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