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Seniors’ Home Support Tax Credit in Ontario



Home safety tax credit for seniors over Ontario 

Staying in the comfort of one’s own home for as long as possible, rather than moving to a seniors’ residence or private home, is the desire of the majority of Canadian seniors. And Ontario is no exception! After retirement age and when health conditions make it possible, many seniors choose to continue to enjoy the vast benefits that come with the opportunity to stay longer in the family home.

Financial assistance programs have been put in place to encourage home help support and safety. The Seniors’ Home Security Tax Credit is one of them. In this Visavie article, we will provide you the details you need to know in order to apply for this tax credit available to seniors all over Ontario, just as in Quebec.

What is Home Security Tax Credit?

The Government of Ontario, in collaboration with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), initiated the Seniors’ Tax Credit for Home Security as a way to encourage seniors to stay in their homes for a longer period of time, enjoying an environment that is both safe and comfortable. 

With this tax credit, elderly people and their families can take advantage of the given amount in order to properly adapt the house or the dwelling. Through the acquisition of specific equipment, or the achievement of some renovation works, the objective is that each elderly relative in the family can benefit from an environment that is more adapted to their needs. And it is important to take into consideration both the present and the future needs.

We must note that this financial assistance program is currently identified as a temporary credit. It is therefore in place for 2021 and 2022. Eligible expenses must then relate to one (or both) of these two years in order to be properly refunded. We still don’t know if this tax credit will be renewed in the future. However, additional programs and credits remain available. We will provide an overview of these other assistance credits further in this article.

Who is eligible for this home support tax credit ?

This program, as the name implies, is designed to encourage seniors to remain in their homes for a longer period of time after retirement. The Government of Ontario, in partnership with the CRA, has introduced the Seniors’ Home Support Tax Credit to help seniors wishing to live safely in the comfort of their own homes. As they recognized the many benefits of facilitating independent living for seniors. Obviously, all this can be applied when the elderly’s health and general situation allows it. To help seniors wishing to stay home, but who need some help with some day-to-day tasks, many different home care services exist. And those home support services can truly make a significant contribution to improving the quality of life of your elderly parent.

Eligible individuals for this financial assistance include the following : 

  • adults who are 65 years of age or older ;
  • persons who are caring for an elderly family member in their home ; 
  • or family members who plan to host an elderly parent within the next 24 months.

What is the maximum financial amount available to seniors in Ontario through this assistance ?

Seniors, or their family members, meeting the eligibility criteria can estimate the amount available through this tax credit using a simple formula. To do so, all you have to do is identify each of the eligible expenses and sum them up. The overall maximum eligible expenses amount is $10,000, when you add them all together. Once it is totaled, simply calculate 25% of this total to obtain the refundable tax credit amount.

For 2021 and 2022, the maximal refund is $2500 for each of these years. Everything is calculated as a credit, applied to the annual tax return.

What are the eligible expenses for this tax credit ?

Since the Home Security Tax Credit is designed to improve the life quality of retired seniors who wish to remain in the comfort of their homes, eligible expenses are consistent with that goal. With this financial assistance, seniors have the opportunity to improve their homes to make their day-to-day life easier and safer. To be eligible, each expense needs to meet these criteria.

Let’s take a typical example. If you live at home with an elderly parent, you may be able to get a refund on your taxes for the completion of some home renovations or even the purchase of some special equipment. All you need to do is to demonstrate that those expenses were really intended to improve the mobility and/or functional autonomy of your elderly relative. The same applies to a senior living alone at home, for example.

More specifically, here is a list of good examples of eligible expenses for this tax credit

  • non-slip floors ;
  • adjustment of the height of counters and cabinets ;
  • installation of grab bars and handrails ;
  • walk-in bathtubs (with seat) ; 
  • or wheel-chair accessible showers ;
  • adjustable hand-held shower ;
  • replacement of faucets with hand-free automatic system ;
  • toilet adapted to the appropriate height;
  • widening of doorways ;
  • additional lighting for improved safety ;
  • motion-activated lights ;
  • modifications to the location of light switches and electrical outlets to improve their accessibility ;
  • renovations to the home of a family relative living with a senior parent to create sufficient living space in the home for that senior.

Other examples may be included in this list. For more details, as well as other assistance programs, please visit the Government of Ontario’s website about this tax credit for seniors. 

The key thing to remember is that expenses qualify for this credit as soon as they contribute directly to senior’s home support.

In contrast, cosmetic improvements such as painting or decorating are not approved. The same is true for regular home maintenance and the purchase of appliances. Although sometimes necessary, these modifications are not considered eligible expenses for this home security tax credit.

How to apply for the Senior Home Security Tax Credit ?

If you believe that you, or an elderly loved one near you, are eligible for this program, it becomes worthwhile to initiate the procedures in order to claim the amount you are eligible for. 

To submit a request for this home support tax credit, simply complete the claim at the same time that you complete your annual income tax return. In order to ensure that the claim is accepted, it is also important to verify that you have all the official receipts for all eligible expenses. Every time you make a purchase that may contribute to comfort and autonomy, in order to help a senior to live at home, don’t forget to ask for your invoice and make sure to keep each one very carefully.

Other programs and credits for seniors in Ontario

The seniors’ home support tax credit in ontario is not the only financial assistance available to seniors across Ontario. There are many other programs and credits that can be considered either by the federal, provincial or even municipal authorities. 

Moreover, it is interesting to note that some eligible expenses could even be claimed for both this tax credit and other government assistance programs, depending on the context. The federal tax credit for home accessibility is a very good example. For more information, do not hesitate to ask for advice from specialists. Your accountant, for example, will certainly give you the proper answers to these questions. 

Simply looking to better understand these different measures ? Do not hesitate to contact our team at Visavie to benefit from our personalized and caring support. It will be a pleasure for us to assist you. When necessary, we will also be happy to refer you to the right resources throughout Ontario.

The seniors’ home support tax credit in ontario is not the only financial assistance available to seniors across Ontario. There are many other programs and credits that can be considered either by the federal, provincial or even municipal authorities. 

Moreover, it is interesting to note that some eligible expenses could even be claimed for both this tax credit and other government assistance programs, depending on the context. The federal tax credit for home accessibility is a very good example. For more information, do not hesitate to ask for advice from specialists. Your accountant, for example, will certainly give you the proper answers to these questions. 

⇒ Living in Quebec ? Then, you may be interested in our previous article which relates some useful information about the seniors’ tax credit for home support, specially adapted to the reality of Quebec.





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