Ontario Proposes Home Improvement Tax For Seniors

The Ontario government has proposed a temporary home improvement tax credit for seniors in its 2020 Ontario budget. The credit would allow seniors to stay in their homes for longer during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit would be a fully refundable tax credit for the 2021 tax year worth 25 per cent of up to $10,000 in eligible expenses to make homes “safer and more accessible.” Expenses would be eligible if they are paid or become payable in 2021. The expenses must relate to renovations that improve safety and accessibility or help a senior be more functional or mobile at home. Seniors would be eligible for the credit regardless of income and whether or not they had a tax liability for 2021. The $10,000 maximum in expenses could be shared among family members, including spouses, who live with the senior. The maximum credit would be worth $2,500. Eligible expenses include renovations to permit first floor occupancy or a secondary suite for a senior; wheelchair ramps, stair lifts and elevators; grab bars around a toilet, tub. or shower; non-slip flooring; additional lighting; and automatic garage door openers. Individuals would be able to claim the credit for the expenses if the improvement was made to their residence within the 24 months after the end of 2021.