Home renovation tax credit for seniors and persons with disabilities
The Home renovation tax credit for seniors and persons with disabilities assists eligible individuals 65 and over and persons with disabilities with the cost of certain permanent home renovations to improve accessibility or be more functional or mobile at home.
The program for seniors (and family members living with seniors) started April 1, 2012. Effective February 17, 2016 the program was extended to persons with disabilities (and family members living with those individuals) and renamed the Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities.
You’re eligible to claim the credit for the year if on the last day of the tax year you’re:
- A resident of B.C., and
- A senior or a family member living with a senior, or
- A person with a disability or a family member living with a person with a disability (for 2016 and later tax years).
If you qualify for the disability tax credit, you're eligible for this credit. If you aren't claiming the disability amount because you're claiming fees you paid for an attendant or care in a nursing home, you may still be eligible.
- Learn about eligibility for claiming the disability tax credit
For seniors and family members living with seniors, your renovation expenses must happen on or after April 1, 2012. Expenses made or incurred under an agreement entered into before this date don't qualify.
For persons with disabilities and family members living with them, renovation expenses must happen on or after February 17, 2016. Expenses made or incurred under an agreement entered into before this date don't qualify.
Note: An eligible expense is deemed to have been paid on the earlier of the date on which the expense was paid or the date it becomes payable.
The credit can be shared between eligible residents of the home to a maximum amount of the credit. The maximum amount of the credit is $1,000 per tax year and is calculated as 10% of the qualifying renovation expense (maximum $10,000 in expenses). The credit is a refundable tax credit, which means if the credit is higher than the taxes you owe, you’ll receive the difference as a refund.
The renovation must be to your principal residence, which is the home you primarily live in (including a non-seasonal mobile home).
The renovation or alteration must help a senior or a person with a disability by:
- Improving access to the home or land,
- Improving mobility and functions within the home or land, or
- Reducing the risk of harm within the home or land.
The main purpose of the renovation can't be to increase the value of the home or land.
Note: Modular or removable versions of items that can be installed as permanent fixtures to the home or land qualify (e.g. modular ramps and non-fixed bath lifts).
Examples of qualifying renovations or alterations:
- Bathtubs – walk-in
- Counters/cupboards – lowering existing ones
- Counters/cupboards – installing adjustable ones
- Door locks that are easy to operate
- Doors that are widened for passage
- Drawers and cupboards – touch-and-release
- Flooring – non-slip or to allow the use of walkers or wheelchairs
- General renovation costs – necessary to enable access for seniors or persons with disabilities to first-floor or secondary suites
- Grab bars and related reinforcements around the toilet, tub and shower
- Hand-held showers on adjustable rods or high-low mounting brackets
- Hand rails in corridors
- Lever handles on doors and taps, instead of knobs
- Light fixtures throughout the home and exterior entrances
- Light switches and electrical outlets placed in accessible locations
- Lighting – motion-activated
- Pull-out shelves under counter to enable work from a seated position
- Showers – wheel-in
- Sinks – alterations to allow use from a seated position (and insulation of any hot-water pipes)
- Swing clear hinges on doors to widen doorways
- Taps – hands-free
- Taps – relocation to front or side for easier access
- Toilets – raised
- Wheelchair ramps, stair/wheelchair lifts and elevators
What doesn't qualify?
- Aesthetic enhancements – such as landscaping or redecorating
- Appliances – all appliances including those with front located controls, side swing ovens, etc
- Fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors
- Flooring (regular) installation
- General maintenance – such as plumbing or electrical repairs
- Heating or air conditioning systems installation
- Electronics (home-entertainment)
- Home medical monitoring equipment
- Home security (anti-burglary) equipment
- Insulation replacement
- Roof repairs
- Services, such as:
- Home care services
- Housekeeping services
- Outdoor maintenance and gardening services
- Security or medical monitoring services
- Vehicles adapted for people with mobility limitations
- Window installation
Claiming the credit
You can claim the credit when you file your T1 income tax return. Complete the British Columbia Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities form (Schedule BC(S12)) and enter the amount you spent on eligible renovations beside box 60480 on the British Columbia Credits form (BC479).
You must retain documentation to support your claim, including receipts from suppliers and contractors. If work has been performed by a family member, receipts for labour and materials must have a GST/HST number.
If you receive an invoice at the end of the calendar year and pay it in the following calendar year, the credit is to be claimed for the taxation year based on when you received the invoice.
Learn more about how to file your income tax return.
The following legislation applies to the B.C. home renovation tax credit for seniors and persons with disabilities:
- Income Tax Act (B.C.) Part 11