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BC Home Renovation Tax Credit

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British Columbia  ->  Personal Tax Credits
    Federal and Provincial Home Renovation Tax Credits  -> BC Seniors' Home Renovation Tax Credit

BC Home Renovation Tax Credit
For Seniors and Persons With Disabilities - Refundable

The Home Renovation Tax Credit, worth up to $1,000 per year, is available to seniors, or family members sharing their home, whether they rent or own.  Started in the 2012 tax year, the maximum credit is $1,000 annually, calculated as 10% of eligible permanent home renovation expenditures, for costs incurred on or after April 1, 2012.

As per the BC 2016 Budget, the tax credit is expanded to include persons with disabilities who are eligible to claim the federal disability tax credit, and to family members living with those individuals.  This applies to expenditures made on or after February 17, 2016.

Information below will be updated re persons with disabilities when further detail is available.

An "eligible individual", who is able to claim the tax credit, is an individual who

  1. was  resident in BC on the last day of the taxation year, and

  2. was a senior, or a qualifying relation of a senior, at the end of the taxation year in which a qualifying expenditure was paid in respect of a qualifying renovation to the individual's qualifying principal residence.

A "senior" is an individual who is 65 years of age or older at the end of the taxation year.

A "qualifying relation" of a senior is a child, grandchild or other family member living with the senior, according to the information on the BC website (see link below).  This would include parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren and other descendants.  It would also include brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews (including in-laws), but likely not cousins or more distant relatives.

Generally, an expenditure will qualify for the tax credit if it is part of a renovation or alteration of a "qualifying principal residence" of a senior or of the land on which the residence is situated, if it is undertaken:

  1. to enable the senior to gain access to, or to be mobile or functional within, the residence or the land, or

  2. to reduce the risk of harm to the senior within the residence or the land, or in gaining access to the residence or the land

The renovation must be

  1. of an enduring nature and integral to the residence or the land on which the residence is situated, or

  2. related to the purchase and installation of a modular or removable version of an item of a type that can otherwise be installed as a permanent fixture to the residence or the land, including modular ramps and non-fixed bath lifts.

The following are examples of eligible expenditures:

bullet upgrades to improve accessibility, including handrails, grab bars, walk-in bathtubs, wheel-in showers, and raised toilets
bullet wheelchair ramps, lifts and elevators
bullet motion-activated lighting
bullet certain renovations to allow a first-floor occupancy or secondary suite for a senior relative
bullet widening passage doors
bullet lowering existing counters/cupboards
bullet installing adjustable counters/cupboards
bullet light switches and electrical outlets placed in accessible locations
bullet door locks that are easy to operate
bullet lever handles on doors and taps, instead of knobs
bullet pull-out shelves under counter to enable work from a seated position
bullet non-slip flooring in the bathroom
bullet a hand-held shower on an adjustable rod or high-low mounting brackets
bullet additional light fixtures throughout the home and exterior entrances
bullet swing clear hinges on doors to widen doorways
bullet creation of knee space under the basin to enable use from a seated position (and insulation of any hot-water pipes)
bullet relocation of tap to front or side for easier access
bullet hands-free taps
bullet touch-and-release drawers and cupboards

Some expenditures that are not eligible for the tax credit:

bullet general maintenance, including roof repairs, windows, flooring, insulation and painting
bullet standard appliances, including side swing ovens and appliances with front located controls
bullet services, including home care, housekeeping and gardening
bullet landscaping or redecorating
bullet installing new windows or regular flooring
bullet installing heating or air conditioning systems
bullet replacing insulation
bullet equipment for medical monitoring and home security
bullet wheelchairs and walkers
bullet vehicles adapted for people with mobility limitations
bullet fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors

The refundable tax credit will be claimed when the personal tax return is filed.  If all or part of the expenses are also eligible for the medical expense tax credit, they can be claimed for both the seniors' renovation tax credit and the medical expense tax credit.

See also:

    - Resources for Persons with Disabilities

    - Federal and Provincial Home Renovation Tax Credits

CRA Resources:  Information for Residents of British Columbia - search for Home Renovation Tax Credit

BC Government: BC Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons With Disabilities

The legislation can be found in the BC Income Tax Act Part 11 - BC Seniors' Home Renovation Tax Credit.

Revised: September 19, 2017

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