Home Assistance – Seniors and Persons with Disabilities
Home Support Services for Seniors – Quebec
The tax credit for home-support services for seniors allows individuals who are 70 years or older to reduce the costs of certain home support services in their area. In 2016, the refundable tax credit is 34% of eligible expenses.9 The annual expense limit is $19,500 ($25,500 for seniors recognized as being dependent) for a maximum annual credit of $6,630 ($8,670 for seniors recognized as being dependent) in 2016. The credit is reduced based on the income of the senior and his/her spouse in excess of $56,515, unless the senior is considered a dependent senior.10
Two types of services are eligible for the credit, i.e. personal support services, and maintenance and supply services. A few examples of eligible expenses are amounts paid for services related to:
- day-to-day activities, such as dressing and hygiene (bath);
- nursing services;
- meal preparation, excluding the cost of the food;
- household chores, such as cleaning and appliance maintenance (oven cleaning);
- minor outdoor jobs like cutting the grass;
- remote monitoring and locating by GPS.
The eligible expense calculation differs depending on whether it is a seniors’ residence or another type of dwelling. The expenses for which this credit is claimed cannot be claimed otherwise as medical expenses in Quebec (see point 1 of this section).
Seniors may request payment of the credit in advance provided certain conditions are met. If both spouses are entitled to the credit, only one of them may claim it based on the couple’s eligible expenses incurred and the total of their annual expense limits.
9 The tax credit will increase to 35% in 2017.
10 Three percent reduction. Threshold indexed annually. No reduction applies based on family income regarding seniors who are considered as being dependent.
Tax Credit for the Purchase or Rental of Equipment Designed to Help Seniors Live Independently at Home – Quebec
A taxpayer aged 70 years or older is entitled to a refundable tax credit equal to 20% of expenses incurred in excess of $500 for the acquisition, rental and installation in the taxpayer’s home of the following goods: a GPS remote monitoring or tracking device, devices to facilitate the use of a toilet, shower or bathtub, a mechanized rail-mounted chairlift to go up and down a staircase and a hospital bed. The expenses may not have been refunded to the taxpayer (unless the refund is taxable) and cannot entitle the taxpayer to any other tax credit or deduction.
Assistance Program to Offset Municipal Tax Increase – Quebec
Since 2016, seniors may partially offset a municipal tax increase pursuant to a substantial assessment roll increase in their principal residence. The potential subsidy amount is indicated on the tax bill sent by the municipality and the subsidy will be claimed on the tax return. To be eligible, the individual must be at least 65 years of age before the beginning of the year, have owned11 the residence for at least 15 years and his/her family income cannot exceed $50,000.12
11 Him/herself or his/her spouse.
12 Amount for 2016, indexed annually as of 2017.
Home Accessibility Tax Credit – Federal
Since 2016, a new non-refundable tax credit equivalent to 15% of up to $10,000 of expenses (maximum credit of $1,500) may be claimed for expenses incurred to renovate or alter a dwelling to make it more accessible for specified individuals, that is persons who are 65 years of age or older or persons with disabilities. The credit may be claimed by the specified individual or his/her spouse or by a member of his/her family who has claimed (or could claim) the amount for an eligible dependent, the amount for caregivers or the amount for persons with a disability over 18 years of age.
Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit – Ontario
Home owners or renters aged 65 or older as well as person sharing a home with a senior parent are entitled to a refundable tax credit equal to 15% of expenses incurred up to $10,000 per couple (maximum credit of $1,500) for eligible home renovations designed to help seniors remain safely at home. This tax credit will be eliminated as of January 1, 2017.
Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit – New Brunswick
Seniors who own or rent a dwelling and family members who live with a senior may claim a refundable tax credit of a maximum amount of $1,000 per year in respect of eligible renovation expenses incurred up to a maximum of $10,000.
Home Buyers’ Plan
There are a number of specific provisions in the HBP rules relating to the acquisition of a residence that is adapted to the needs of handicapped persons (see Section II).