Canadian Seniors’ Home Expenses Assistance

March 7, 2013

Canadian Senior Couple Looking for Tax Credits for Home ExpensesSeveral Canadian provinces and territories are helping seniors to live healthy and independent lives through the help of tax credits and grants for a range of home improvements, modifications and other expenses.

Depending on what province you live in, you may be eligible to claim up to $10,000 for home renovations on your tax return, and get up to $1500 back. Other provinces provide tax credits for home support services, or rebates on your property tax.

Please consult your accountant to review your eligibility for these programs. Here is an overview to some of the programs and tax credits available to Canadian seniors.

British Columbia: Seniors Home Renovation Tax Credit

 The B.C seniors home renovation tax credit helps BC seniors with permanent home renovations to improve accessibility, and mobility at home. The program started April 1, 2012; therefore the renovation must happen on, or after this date to be eligible. You must be a BC resident, a senior (over the age of 65), or a family member living with a senior to be eligible. Learn more about  renovations that qualify, as well as how to apply.

There is also the Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI) program and assistance through Independent Living BC.

Ontario: Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit & Property Tax Grant

 The Ontario Healthy Homes renovation tax credit is a permanent, refundable, personal income tax credit intended to make seniors more at ease in their homes. More specifically it aims to improve the safety and accessibility within the senior’s home. To qualify you must be an Ontario resident, over the age of 65, or be family members living a senior.

If you qualify you can claim up to $10,000 worth of qualified home improvements on your tax return, and get up to $1500 back.  Visit their website to review a list of the home improvements that qualify, as well as information on how to apply.

There is also the Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant which provides up to $500 to help with the cost of property taxes.

Alberta: Special Needs Assistance for Seniors

 The Special Needs Assistance Program for Seniors aims to help seniors with the cost of appliances, minor home repairs, and some medical costs. The program provides lump-sum payment to eligible, low income seniors for up to $5000 in benefit a year. To qualify for this assistance you must be an Alberta resident, 65 years and older, and make under $40,800 annually for senior couples, and $25,100 for senior singles.

Quebec: The Tax Credits for Home-Support Services & Independent Living

The tax credit for home-support services in Quebec is designed for citizens aged 70 and over. This tax credit is a refundable tax credit for home support services, which can be up to 30% of eligible expenses. Some of the eligible services include laundry service, housekeeping, food service, nursing service, and personal care service. Find out more information and how to apply.

Quebec residents over 70 can also claim a refundable Independent Living Tax Credit for Seniors for certain items needed to maintain autonomy in their current residence.

Manitoba: Property Tax Credit

Senior residents of Manitoba may qualify for up to $1000 with the Education Property Tax Credit.

Nova Scotia: Property Tax Rebate & Renovation Assistance for Seniors

The Nova Scotia property tax rebate for seniors is intended to help eligible seniors remain in their homes by providing them with an annual rebate on their municipal property taxes. The program bases its rebates on property taxes paid the previous year, and will give 50%  of what was paid, up to a maximum of $600.00 per year.  Seniors who receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) are eligible to receive this rebate.

Nova Scotia also has programs to help seniors renovate their own homes, landlords renovate their property for their low-income senior tenants, and for families to adapt their homes for senior family members.

 New Brunswick: Property Tax Deferral Program for Seniors

Home owners over 65 can apply for a deferral of their property taxes. Low income residents can apply for the $100 Home Energy assistance program

Saskatchewan: Repairs & Renovation Assistance

Seniors can seek assistance from the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation for repairs and renovation.

Prince Edward Island: Home Repairs & Adaptions

Residents over 60 making less than $35,000 a year are eligible for the Seniors’ Home Repair Program which will cover 50% of the repairs up to $1500. Low income seniors can also apply for the Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program.

Home owners and landlords can apply for assistance with home adaptions with the Home Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence Program.

Newfoundland and Labrador: Home Modification Program

The Home Modification Program helps home owners make accessibility changes to their residences so they can remain independent longer. Assistance is given through forgivable grants and repayable loans up to $13,000.

Nunavut: Senior Citizen Home Repair & Maintenance Programs

Nunavut residents over 60 can apply for a $15,000 grant to help with home repairs. There is also a Seniors and Disabled Persons Preventative Maintenance Program.

Northwest Territories: Heating Costs & Property Taxes

Residents in the Northwest Territories can apply for grants to help with heating costs. There is also The Senior Citizens’ and Disabled Persons’ Property Tax Relief to help with property taxes.

Yukon: Heating Costs

Seniors over 65 are eligible for a grant to help with heating costs. The 2012-2013 Pioneer Utility grant amount is $996.02.

This list is a sample of the programs available and should not be considered a complete list. In order to maximize your tax credits, we recommend you talk to an accountant or financial adviser. If you need financial assistance to remain in your home, please contact your local seniors centre for more information.

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