While they could also significantly add to the value of your home, the only problem is that most renovations aren’t cheap. In fact, you may have to pay thousands of dollars in basic repairs, labour and materials alone.
Luckily, your federal or regional government may offer tax incentives to residents who are financing their homes in various ways, such as home renovation tax credits. Read this to find out how home renovation tax credits can put some cash back in your pocket.
Federal Home Renovation Tax Credits
The federal government has introduced several tax benefits to homebuyers over the years, like the Federal Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC), which only lasted for the 2009 tax year. Today, there’s one federal home renovation tax credit still available:
Federal Home Accessibility Tax Credit (HATC)
If your home requires renovations to accommodate a senior or disabled resident’s accessibility needs, you can claim some of the associated costs on your taxes using the Federal HATC; a non-refundable tax credit created in 2016.
Who Is Eligible For The HATC?
As with all Canadian tax benefits, applicants and their homes must pass certain requirements to obtain the Federal Home Accessibility Tax Credit:
To qualify, you must be at least 65 years old or hold a valid disability tax certificate or be supporting a qualifying individual. If you’re 18 or over, you can claim the amount for an eligible dependent, caregiver amount or amount for infirm dependents age 18 or older on behalf of a qualifying person.
For renovations to qualify, they must have been installed for the 2016 tax year or later and altered the dwelling in a necessary way. This means alterations have to be permanent fixtures that improve mobility, accessibility and/or safety for the qualifying individual, like:
- Bathroom fixtures (walk-in bathtubs, wheel-in showers, etc.)
- Handrails and grab bars
- Wheelchair ramps and widened doorways
- Adjustable fixtures (cabinets, counters, etc.)
- Elevators and lifts
Renovations That Don’t Qualify For The Tax Credit
However, the Federal Home Accessibility Tax Credit cannot be claimed if the expenses aren’t integral to the enduring nature of the qualifying individual’s property, such as:
- Household appliances
- Home-entertainment equipment
- Housekeeping costs
- Routine home maintenance and repairs
- Security monitoring and other similar services
Note: The expenses above are more or less the same for both federal and provincial home renovation tax credits. Basically, most necessary/permanent costs will qualify and unnecessary/semi-permanent ones probably won’t.
Learn more ways on how to finance your home renovation project.
How Much Can You Claim With The HATC?
Under the terms of the Federal Home Accessibility Tax Credit, qualifying individuals can claim up to $10,000 of total eligible expenses annually for 2016 or subsequent years, which leads to a maximum non-refundable tax credit of $1,500 ($10,000 x 15%).
Note: The 2022 federal budget has proposed new changes to the Home Accessibility Tax Credit. It plans to increase the amount you can claim to $20,000 starting in 2022. This means eligible individuals can get a tax credit of up to $3,000 instead of $1,500.
How To Claim The HATC?
You can claim the HATC by filing in Line 31285 of your federal tax return and completing “schedule 12” for Home Accessibility Expenses for your province (in Quebec, it’s called Home Support Services for Seniors). Keep in mind that if you perform the renovations yourself, you can only claim the supply expenses, not the professional labour costs.
- Multiple Credits – Some accessibility devices count as medical costs, so you might be able to get double, even triple this tax credit (up to 3 times yearly) by claiming the HATC and the renovation as an eligible medical expense. In places like New Brunswick and British Columbia, you can get a provincial tax credit too.
Example: A home requires bathroom improvements to help a senior in British Columbia. As a qualified individual, they can get up to 3 tax credits and, if the renovation costs total out at $10,000, here’s how the credit is broken down:
- $10,000 in medical expenses.
- $1,500* ($10,000 x 15%) yearly federal credit from the HATC.
- $1,000 ($10,000 x 10%) yearly provincial credit from the British Columbia Home Renovation Tax Credit For Seniors and Persons With Disabilities.
*Due to the 2022 federal budget, the HATC claim amount has increased from $10,000 to $20,000 which means you can now get a tax credit up to $3,000 instead of $1,500.
Alternative Financial Assistance Programs For Those With A Disability
|Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Payment Dates||Learn More|
|BC Disability Assistance||Learn More|
|Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) Payment Dates||Learn More|
|Assured Income For The Severely Handicapped (AISH) Program||Learn More|
Provincial Home Renovation Tax Credits
When filing your income taxes, remember to check if your province or territory offers other tax credits for eligible residents and properties, like these programs:
BC Home Renovation Tax Credit For Seniors and People With Disabilities – Refundable
This benefit offers eligible BC residents a yearly tax credit to cover the cost of acceptable permanent home renovations. The program began in 2012 for seniors and their families, until it was extended to disabled persons (and their families) in 2016.
Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for the B.C. Home Renovation Tax Credit For Seniors and Persons With Disabilities, you must be:
- A resident of B.C. on the last day of the tax year.
- A senior (age 65+) or disabled person, during which an eligible cost was paid toward a qualifying renovation of your primary residence.
- Or, a qualifying relation of a senior/disabled person, during which a cost was paid toward an eligible renovation of their primary residence.
To be considered a “qualifying relation” of a senior or disabled resident, you must be their child, grandchild or a family member living with them. Although cousins and other distant relatives may not qualify, eligibility could be extended to:
- Nieces & nephews
- Aunts & uncles
- Other descendants
- In-laws of qualifying relations
How Much Can You Claim?
This B.C. Home Renovation Tax Credit lets you claim up to 10% of permanent home renovation expenses (incurred on or after April 1st, 2012), to a maximum of $10,000 per year. That means you can get a credit up to $1,000. Like with the Federal Home Accessibility Tax Credit, you can also claim some renovations as medical costs to claim another provincial credit.
Check out how to defer your property taxes.
New Brunswick Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit – Refundable
Following a provincial budget announcement in 2015, qualified New Brunswick seniors and relatives/caregivers can now claim a refundable credit of 10% annually to cover eligible expenses they’ve taken on while renovating their primary residence.
Who Is Eligible?
Approval for the New Brunswick Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit is not based on an applicant’s income level. It’s available to anyone who:
- Is a resident of NB and at least 65 years old.
- Or, is living with or expecting to live with a qualifying senior family member.
- Has paid or incurred eligible renovation costs during the current tax year toward their (or their senior family member’s) primary residence or the land it’s on.
How Much Can You Claim?
Eligible residents can receive a tax credit of up to $1,000 a year. In other words, you can claim 10% of total eligible renovation costs, up to $10,000.
Check out these tax considerations for seniors.
Ontario Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit – Refundable
Introduced by the Ontario 2020 Budget, this refundable tax credit was only supposed to be for the 2021 tax year. However, the 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review has asked for the program to be extended to 2022 (featuring the same rules).
Who Is Eligible?
Similar to other home renovation tax benefits in Canada, the Ontario Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit is not dependent on your income. To qualify, you must:
- Be a senior (65+) Ontario homeowner or renter at the end of the taxation year during which eligible costs were paid or became payable (2021 currently).
- Or, be a qualifying relation living with an Ontario senior, as described in section 251(6) or 252(2) of the Federal Income Tax Act.
How Much Can You Claim?
As a qualifying participant of the Ontario Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit, you can claim up to $2,500 annually (25% of a maximum of $10,000 in eligible expenses) for renovations to an eligible senior’s home or property. The full credit can be shared by multiple applicants living in the same residence or claimed by one individual.
Eligible costs shall be reduced according to how they are reimbursed (or are expected to be reimbursed) by a provincial, federal or municipal government. You can claim this credit if the renovation was made to your primary residence within 24 months after the end of 2021 (this includes your share of upgrades done by your condo corporation).
Live in Ontario? Check out the Ontario Trillium Benefit for more government support.
Saskatchewan Home Renovation Tax Credit
This non-refundable provincial credit was created by Saskatchewan’s Bill 1, The Income Tax (Strong Recovery Home Renovation Tax Credit) Amendment Act, 2020. It’s now administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as part of Saskatchewan’s personal income tax system. Up to 10.5% can be claimed for the 2021 and 2022 tax years.
Who Is Eligible?
Like other tax credits, qualifying renovations must be made to an applicant’s primary Saskatchewan residence or the property it’s on. That said, the Saskatchewan Home Renovation Tax Credit isn’t just available to residents who are elderly or disabled.
As such, requirements are different:
- You, your spouse, or common-law partner and any children under the age of 17 (yours or theirs) must regularly inhabit the home/property during the eligibility period. The total allowable credit can be divided among family members.
- Any expenses you wish to claim must have been incurred between October 1, 2020, and December 31, 2022. Additionally, the renovation(s) must be mostly completed by no later than December 31, 2022, to qualify.
- Those renovations must be of a permanent nature, as well as imperative to the home or land surrounding it. A plot of one-half hectare (1.24 acres), including the home and adjoining land, may also be considered eligible.
- While the renovations are underway, you must own the home (alone/jointly) or a share of the capital stock of a cooperative housing corporation that you obtained for the legal right to live in a housing unit owned by said corporation.
How Much Can You Claim?
The Saskatchewan Home Renovation Tax Credit can only be claimed on your 2021 and 2022 personal income tax returns, for qualifying expenses in excess of a $1,000 base amount annually. The total credit you can claim depends on the tax year:
- 2021 Provincial Tax Return – Up to $12,000 can be claimed for eligible costs incurred from October 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021. You can get a maximum credit of $1,155 ($11,000 x 10.5%).
- 2022 Provincial Tax Return – If they exceed the base amount, a maximum of $10,000 in qualifying expenses can be claimed for the 2022 taxation year.
If you sell your home and buy a new one during an eligible period, renovations can be claimed for both dwellings to a maximum of $20,000 (each home must be your primary residence at the time). However, if you earn rental or business income from a dwelling, you can only claim expenses associated with personal areas (not tenant-related costs).
Financial Assistance Programs For Home Renovation In Quebec
While these programs aren’t tax credits technically, they are still government-run programs that provide financial assistance to those looking to make eco-conscious renovations to their homes.
Rénoclimat is a program offered by the Quebec government that provides homeowners with advice through a free home consultation. Ultimately, the goal is to improve the energy efficiency of your home through the reduction of your energy consumption.
How To Take Part In Rénoclimat
- Call 1-866-266-0008 to schedule an appointment with an advisor in your area
- An advisor will come to your home and perform a pre-work energy evaluation of your home.
- Have the necessary work completed
- Set up a post-work appointment with your advisor
- Wait to receive your Rénoclimat financial assistance cheque in the mail 10 to 12 weeks after your post-work appointment.
Rénoclimat Financial Assistance Eligibility
There are four categories of work that are eligible for financial assistance:
- Insulation work
- Work on your home’s airtightness
- Windows and doors
- Mechanical systems
- Ventilation system
- Water heater
- Heat pump
- Geothermal heating system
Please visit the
Rénoclimat webpage for more information about the program in general and further eligibility requirements.
Chauffez Vert is another program offered by the Quebec government that provides financial assistance for energy efficiency projects that homeowners carry out on their homes. There are two types of work that are eligible for financial assistance under Chauffez Vert:
- Replacement of an oil or propane heating system with a system powered by a renewable energy, such as electricity
- Replacement of an oil or propane water heater with a water heater powered by renewable energy, such as electricity
How To Take Part In Chauffez Vert
- Before starting, make sure you meet all the
- Have the work completed
- Gather all your necessary documentation and fill out and submit an application
- Your application will be reviewed by the Chauffez Vert program administrators
- Wait to receive an email that notifies you of your eligibility
- If you are eligible for financial assistance, you’ll have to wait an additional four to six weeks to receive a cheque.
In order to participate in the Chauffez Vert program you need to complete and submit your application within six months of having the work completed.
Please visit the
Chauffez Vert webpage for more information about the program in general and further eligibility requirements.
Check out more green tax credits and programs offered by the government.
Before you complete any renovations on your home, make sure you check for any home renovation tax credits offered by the federal or provincial governments. Although renovations can be a huge pain and a serious financial burden, they’re often necessary to improve the living quality of you or someone you care about.