Ontario Over 65 Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors
If you are an Ontario resident who is 65 and over or will soon be, you could get a grant to renovate your home and make it safer.
If you are an Ontario resident who is 65 and over or who will reach the age of 65 by the end of 2021, you could get a hand from the Government of Ontario to make your home more accessible.
And if you are younger than this age but live with a senior relative, you could also qualify for this support.
While any of us would love to simply send in an application and get a check in the mail or a deposit in our bank account to go off to the hardware store to get materials for home repairs, this, however, isn’t the type of support that’s on offer.
What we’re talking about is a tax credit for specific types of work around the home.
That means you need to do the eligible repairs first; then when you fill out your 2021 tax return, you’ll have the chance to claim the costs.
This is a refundable personal income tax credit. As such, once you are eligible, you get a tax credit no matter what your income might be. Even if you owe income taxes for 2021, you’ll still get the credit.
The Government of Ontario’s Seniors' Home Safety Tax Credit is intended to help seniors stay in their home longer. It’s meant to provide assistance for repairs and renovations that will help you make your home safer and more accessible for yourself if you are a senior, or for senior relatives, if the home owner is under 65.
The emphasis is on modifications that improve livability for those for whom the aging process brings new challenges. So forget about trying to get in fancy new stone siding or a new interior paint job under this program.
What you will be able to claim for are things like wheelchair ramps; stair lifts; elevators; grab bars and related reinforcements around the toilet, bathtub and shower. It could be more extensive work like renovations to create a secondary suite for a senior.
To qualify for the tax credit, the costs have to be paid or must be payable in 2021.
Up to $10,000 in renovation costs can be claimed. This will allow you to get a 25 percent credit for whatever is the actual eligible cost, up to a maximum of $2,500.
The credit can be split among residents of the house on which the work has been done.
So, let’s say Jim is 67 and his common-law partner Sally turns 65 on December 20, 2021. They put in a wheelchair ramp that costs $5,000 and spend $3,000 to build a walk-in shower for a total of $8,000 in renovations. On their 2021 tax return, they decide to split this so that Jim claims $7,000 and Sally claims $1,000.
Each will receive a credit of 25 percent of the value of the claimed amount. Thus Jim will get a credit of $1,750 and Sally will get a $250 credit.
And, let’s suppose that Marie invites her widowed father to live with her. She converts the living room on the first floor into a bedroom and adds a shower to the powder room, all at a cost of $12,700. On her 2021 tax return, Marie can include a claim for up to $10,000 from that bill, and she’ll receive a credit for 25% of the eligible amount, ie $2,500.
If you plan to make use of this support, make sure that you get receipts from suppliers and contractors.
If you have questions about the tax credit, you can contact the Canada Revenue Agency:
- by phone, at 1-800-959-8281; or
- at a tax services office or tax centre.