Living in the comfort of your own home for as long as possible is one of your dearest wishes? Now that you have reached retirement age, and if your health situation allows it, the good news is that solutions exist to make this wish come true. For Canadian seniors who want to enjoy the many benefits of staying at home, it is great to know that financial assistance is available.
Interested in learning more about seniors’ home support tax credits in Ontario? Look at all different government programs and grants available for the elderly population still living at home.
For this 2023 edition, here is an overview of the actual main tax credits available to Ontario seniors and their families.
1. Ontario Seniors Home Care Tax Credit
The Ontario Care at Home Tax Credit is a new government program introduced to promote home support for seniors. Available since 2022, this financial support takes the form of a refundable tax credit. Which means that, even if you don’t have to pay any tax this year, you will still be able to receive the money you are eligible for.
Who is eligible and what amounts are available?
This personal credit is intended for Ontario residents aged 70 and over. If your spouse has reached the eligibility age and you live under the same roof, you may also apply for this tax refund.
If you can prove all your expenses through valid receipts, you may qualify for a credit of up to $1,500. This amount is equivalent to 25% of eligible expenses (up to a maximum of $6,000).
Depending on your income, an adjustment will be made to the credit, gradually decreasing after an annual gain of more than $35,000. To qualify for a minimum credit under this program, note that your family income must be less than $65,000.
Which services are eligible for this home care tax credit?
Intended to encourage seniors to continue living at home, this tax credit provides a helpful refund for elderly with limited incomes. Several categories of expenses are eligible, all related to home support:
- Walking aids ;
- Hearing devices ;
- Wheelchair ;
- Hospital bed to use at home ;
- Oxygen ;
- Vision care ;
- Dental care ;
- Home nursing care.
This home care tax credit is therefore an interesting and beneficial program, as it encourages seniors across Ontario to take advantage of the conveniences of staying at home.
2. Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit
Announced as temporary financial assistance for the 2021 and 2022 tax years, the Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit is a positive news regarding seniors’ budgets. The objective is to allow Ontario older adults to adapt their homes to accommodate new challenges that may arise over time.
Are you experiencing any limitations resulting from a health problem? Do you require some home renovations to make your house safer and more accessible according to your new needs? If so, this tax credit is right for you.
For whom is the home security tax credit available?
To qualify for this aid program, here are the main eligibility criteria:
- Be aged 65 or over ;
- Reside with a family member over 65 ;
- Be planning home renovations in preparation for the arrival of an elderly relative in your house within the next 2 years ;
- Submit all supporting documents and receipts related.
What are the eligible expenses for seniors?
It is interesting to know that this credit can reach a maximum of $2,500. This total is calculated by taking 25% of all the actual eligible expenses, which can sum up to $10,000. Making some safety improvements to your home? This tax credit may then be helpful.
Here are a few examples of eligible expenses you can claim when applying for this tax credit:
- Renovating the first floor to make it a safe living environment ;
- Addition of handrails on walls and stairs ;
- Walk-in bathtub ;
- Accessible shower (to accommodate a wheelchair or bench) ;
- Additional lighting to improve visibility ;
- Non-slip flooring for enhanced safety ;
- Wheelchair access ramp ;
- Full renovation to make your home wheelchair-accessible ;
- Adaptive equipments for toileting ;
- And even more examples, based on each senior’s medical condition and specific needs.
Considering that this credit is currently identified as temporary (for 2021 and 2022), it will be interesting to observe if it will be renewed in the future.
3. Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant
For the elderly who are still homeowners, you may be pleased to know that a government grant also exists to help compensate the amount paid in property taxes. The total you may receive can reach a maximum of $500. However, you must consider that this sum may be adjusted according to your income.
To be eligible for this grant for seniors owning their property, six different criteria must be met:
- Be an Ontario resident ;
- Have reached the age of 64 or over ;
- Have paid property taxes during the current fiscal year ;
- Own a home in the province and live there as your principal residence ;
- Have an annual income of less than $50,000 for a single person, or less than $60,000 for a couple living at the same address ;
- Complete the ON-BEN grant application when submitting your income tax return.
4. Ontario Seniors’ Public Transit Tax Credit
For seniors choosing to continue living at home after retirement, being able to maintain sufficient autonomy for daily commuting is an important concern. Among the many options available, public transport certainly presents many benefits.
The Seniors’ Public Transit Tax Credit is designed to encourage Ontario seniors to use public transportation services (such as buses, subways, and trains), while maintaining maximum freedom in their daily lives.
Eligibility criteria for this tax credit are like the ones previously described:
- You must be 65 years of age or older ;
- Reside in the Ontario province on December 31 of the current taxation year ;
- Keep receipts to prove expenses claimed.
Eligible expenses may total up to $3,000, for a maximum credit of $450.
5. Canada Caregiver Credit
Available both in Ontario and throughout the country, this credit is meant for caregivers who aid with a close loved one daily. Do you devote a significant portion of your time to an elderly relative? You may be entitled to apply for this federal financial support as a family caregiver.
Even if this program is not directly granted to seniors who choose to live at home, its existence promotes home support by encouraging caregivers to continue to make a significant difference in the lives of their elderly relatives, through their valuable day-to-day presence.
Do you, or a loved one near you, need home care services to continue living comfortably at home? With the help of such tax credits, this option is fortunately made more accessible. For personalized assistance and helpful advice throughout the process, please do not hesitate to contact Visavie‘s devoted and caring team. Our advisors will be more than happy to guide you towards the best resources available for seniors so you can enjoy a worry-free environment and enjoy the utmost comfort in your own home.