top of page

Need to Fund Home Accessibility Renos? Here’s Help

Did you know that if you’re a senior or have a disability, you can get a tax credit for renovations to make your home accessible? As seen in

The BC seniors home renovation tax credit assists individuals who are 65 years of age or older with the cost of certain permanent home renovations to improve accessibility or help the senior be more functional or mobile at home.

This program was introduced on April 1, 2012, therefore the renovation expenses must happen on or after this date. Any expenses incurred under an agreement entered prior to this date do not qualify.

When the BC government released its budget last month, it announced an amendment to the senior’s home renovation tax credit, extending the program to individuals that may be eligible to claim the disability tax credit and to the family members living with those individuals. (Learn about the eligibility to claim the disability tax credit here.)

In order to claim the credit for the year if on the last day of the tax year, the individual must be a resident of BC and a senior or a family member living with a senior.

The renovation must be completed to the applicant’s principal residence while 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 per cent of the qualified renovation expense to a maximum of $10,000 in expenses. This credit is a refundable tax credit, which means that if the credit is higher than the taxes the applicant owes, they will receive the difference as a refund.

The renovations or alterations that qualify must assist the senior with an impairment by improving access to the property; improving mobility and function within the property; or reduce the risk of harm within the property.

The following are some examples of renovations or alterations that qualify:

  1. Lowering existing counters/cabinets or installing adjustable ones

  2. Pull-out shelves under counter to enable work from a seated position

  3. Doorways that are widened for passage, and swing-clear hinges on doors to widen doorways

  4. Door locks that are easier to operate

  5. Installing non-slip flooring or to allow the use of walkers

  6. Turning bathtubs into walk-ins or showers into wheel-in

  7. Grab bars and related reinforcements around the toilet, shower and tub

  8. Hand rails in hallways

  9. Light fixtures throughout the home and exterior entrances

  10. Motion-activated lighting

  11. Light switches and electrical outlets placed in accessible locations

  12. Taps such as hands-free, relocation to front or side for easier access

  13. Hand-held showers on adjustable rods or high-low mounting brackets

  14. Lever handles on doors and taps, instead of knobs

  15. Alterations of sinks to allow use from a seated position (and insulation of any hot-water pipes)

  16. Increasing the height of the toilets

  17. General renovation costs necessary to enable access for seniors to first floor or secondary suites

  18. Wheelchair ramps, stair/wheelchair lifts and elevators

The following are some examples of renovations or alterations that don’t qualify:

  1. All appliances, including those with front-located controls, side-swing ovens, etc.

  2. Installation of regular flooring

  3. General maintenance including plumbing and electrical repairs

  4. Installation of heating or air-conditioning systems

  5. Home medical monitoring equipment

  6. Home security or any anti-burglary equipment

  7. Roof repairs

  8. Installation of windows

  9. Any services to such as home care services, housekeeping services, outdoor maintenance and gardening services and security or medical monitoring services

  10. Aesthetic enhancements such as landscaping or redecorating

  11. Fire extinguishers, smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors

  12. Home entertainment electronics

  13. Insulation replacement

  14. Vehicles adapted for people with mobility limitations

  15. Walkers and wheelchairs

How to Claim the Credit?

The credit can be claimed when the applicant files their personal income tax return for 2012 and future years. Schedule BC(S12) must be completed on the tax return and put the amount that was spent on the eligible renovations beside box 6048 and form BC (479).

It is important to retain documentation to support the 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 number.

If a receipt was received at the end of the calendar year and payed it in the following calendar year, the credit is to be claimed for the taxation year based on when the invoiced was received.

2 views0 comments


bottom of page