Staying at home as long as possible after retirement is a desired goal for many seniors. The Tax Credit for Home Support Services for Seniors exists specifically for this purpose: to allow the elderly to remain in the comfort of their own home. Through this tax credit, seniors can benefit from financial assistance while receiving certain essential services such as home care and maintenance services for example.
This provincial program is designed to encourage seniors to remain in their homes if this is what they desire. With this support, staying in the comfort of your own home, while respecting your finances, becomes a more accessible option. And this, without any compromise on services.
Here is everything you need to know about this government program for home support for seniors this year, in 2023. Note that for the 2023 tax year, the eligible tax credit now covers 36% of eligible expenses. This is a 1% increase over last year. And it is expected to keep increasing at the same rate until 2026.
Who is eligible for the Tax Credit for Home Support for Seniors?
In Quebec, any individual aged 70 and over and residing in the province (as of December 31) may be eligible for this tax credit. In fact, these are the only two conditions that need to be met. To apply, it is of course necessary that you also need services to support you at home.
Just turned 70 recently? Good news is that you already are eligible! However, the tax refund will be calculated from the date of your birthday. Only the portion of the year you were 70 years old will be considered.
And, whether you must pay taxes, you have the right to claim this credit. Of course, if you meet the different eligibility criteria.
What are the eligible expenses?
Eligible expenses for this tax credit are the addition of all expenses related to home support services accumulated during the year. When completing your application, you must of course be able to justify the amount claimed. It is therefore very important to keep all your invoices related to the assistance services that you received.
However, please note that only the expenses related to the services themselves can be considered. Therefore, the cost of material and products required for these services cannot be included in the equation. For example, dressing services are eligible but the cost of the clothes themselves is not.
To understand this idea, here is another example: you may claim a reimbursement for the maintenance costs necessary to stay at home. However, the cost of the housekeeping products themselves that had to be purchased for these tasks cannot be credited.
Services eligible for this tax credit for home support for seniors
A wide variety of services can be considered when calculating the amount of the credit. Here is a list of some examples of services that qualify for the Tax Credit for Home Support Services for Seniors:
- meal preparation or delivery services;
- nursing care services (only nursing care is eligible among the health services provided by a member of a professional order);
- home care services for personal care (bathing, dressing, feeding, etc.);
- maintenance service such as housekeeping, yard maintenance, domestic help, etc;
- caring and reassuring presence ;
- or security services such as the use of an emergency call device, if needed.
Owner or tenant?
Whether you are the owner of the house or condo in which you live, or the tenant of your place of residence, you are eligible for this refundable credit in either case. However, based on each situation, the actual calculation will not be the same.
- As a homeowner, eligible expenses simply represent the total amount paid for eligible services during the year.
- For owners of a condo (apartment in co-ownership), it is also possible to consider eligible services that are already shared between the co-owners, such as maintenance fees for common areas or the cleaning of the parking lot for example. Condo owners may then add any personal service expenses incurred during the year to this total.
- If you are a tenant, it is interesting to know that a portion of your rent can be considered. This is calculated according to a proportion of the rent corresponding to the eligible services for home support. To this percentage, it is then possible to add the personal expenses.
- You, or an elderly relative, is living in a retirement home? The good news is that it is still possible to deduct a portion of the rent, like what you would do if you were renting an apartment. Considering that the rental fees for retirement homes already include certain services, they are eligible as well.
Need more details? Your accountant can certainly guide you through all the details, if necessary. Looking for more information on the home care services that qualify for this credit? Please feel free to contact our caring advisors at Visavie who will be pleased to assist you.
What is the amount of this tax credit in Quebec?
The specific amount of the tax credit for home support for seniors is obviously variable from one person to another. Notice that it can also change year to year.
Here are the three main criteria affecting the credited amount:
- income ;
- familial situation ;
- and the total eligible expenses for the current year.
For someone whose annual income would be above $65,700 (amount for the 2023 tax year and adjusted each year based on indexation), the granted percentage is then reduced accordingly. Knowing that the maximum amount allowed for this tax credit varies depending on your family and personal situation, here are a few possible scenarios:
1. Single non-dependant senior :
In this case, the total eligible expenses are calculated based on a maximum of 19 500$ per year. So, according to the 36%, the credit repaid would be 7 020$.
2. Senior dependant senior :
For a dependent elderly person, living alone at home, total eligible expenses are higher, reaching a maximum of 25 500$ for the year. The amount of the tax credit for home support for these seniors can therefore reach 9 180$.
3. Couple living together :
In the context of a couple sharing the same home, all you must do is add up the maximum allowable amount for each of them individually. In order to make the total.
- For example, if the couple is made up of two independent seniors, the annual eligible expenses would be 39 000$. With a potential tax credit of up to 14 040$ (36% of 39 000$).
- For a couple of two dependent seniors, the tax credit allowed for home support is up to a maximum of 18 360$.
- And finally, for a couple where one person is considered dependent and the other non-dependent, the annual tax credit for home maintenance can reach a maximum of 16 200$ (representing 36% of 45 000$ of eligible expenses).
When to apply for this tax credit?
It is possible to apply for this credit when filing your income tax return at the end of each fiscal year. For your information, the Schedule J is the one that must be completed.
It is interesting to note that it is also possible to apply in advance. You will then be entitled to advance payments, paid directly into your bank account each month. Of course, these payments must be declared when you file your annual taxes. For this reason, and even if you do not have to pay any taxes, the filing of a tax return is required.
You are living as a couple and your partner is also eligible for this financial assistance? Only one of you may apply and the application will still be valid for both of you.
For more details on how to apply for the tax credit for home support for seniors, visit the Revenu Québec website.
With the help of this refundable tax credit, adapted home care services for seniors become more accessible. At Visavie, our professional caregivers can assist you with health care, meals, hygiene, and even specialized care. Allowing you to continue to live at home with the services you need. All of this in the respect of your budget.
2023: Two new measures to support seniors
In response to inflation and to help seniors throughout the province of Quebec, governments announced two additional financial assistance measures for seniors in 2023. They are in addition to the tax credit for home support.
1. Enhancement of the Senior Assistance Tax Credit
The first positive news concerns another provincial program of particular interest for seniors aged 70 and over: the Senior Assistance Tax Credit. For the 2022 tax year, the increase announced is quite significant, rising from approximately 400$ in 2021 to a maximum amount of 2000$ this year. For an elderly couple who both qualify, the tax credit can therefore reach up to 4 000$.
Please note that the actual amount will be calculated based on income. For an elderly person living alone, for example, the maximum tax credit of 2 000$ is allowed if the annual income of this senior is less than 24 195$. Decreasing progressively to zero after an income of more than 64 195$.
2. Higher pensions for QPP and OAS
The other good news for seniors’ budgets is the announcement of an increase in pensions at both the provincial and federal levels. In fact, in 2023, the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) will increase by 6.5% for seniors in the province. In Canada, the Old Age Security (OAS) pension will also be enhanced. With an increase of 10% for people aged 75 and over.