You may be eligible for a seniors’ home renovation tax credit

Tax Tips with Lana Laskovic of Armour Mountain Office Services

You may be eligible for the Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit if, at the end of 2014, you met all of the following conditions:

• You were a resident of British Columbia;

• You were a senior (65 years of age or older) or a non-senior living with a family member who is a senior; and

• You, or someone on your behalf, paid or incurred eligible expenses in 2014, to your principal residence or the land on which your principal residence is situated.

A family member includes a parent, step-parent, grandparent, in-law, sibling, spouse, common-law partner, aunt, uncle, great-aunt, great-uncle, child, step-child, grandchild, niece, or nephew.

If you are a senior, a principal residence is a residence in British Columbia that you occupy or expect to occupy by the end of 2016.

If you are not a senior, a principal residence is a residence in British Columbia that you occupy or expect to occupy by the end of 2016 with a family member who is a senior.

Eligible expenses are expenditures for improvements to the principal residence or to the land on which the principal residence is situated that:

• Allow a senior to gain access to, or to be more mobile or functional within, the home or on the land; or

• Reduce the risk of harm to a senior within the home or on the land or in gaining access to the home or the land.

The improvements must be of an enduring nature and be integral to the home or land.

Eligible Expenses include:

• Certain renovations to permit a first-floor occupancy or secondary suite for a senior;

• Grab bars and related reinforcements around the toilet, bathtub, and shower;

• Handrails in corridors;

• Wheelchair ramps, stair/wheelchair lifts, and elevators;

• Walk-in bathtubs;

• Wheel-in showers;

• Widening of passage doors;

• Lowering of existing counters/cupboards;

• Installation of adjustable counters/cupboards;

• Light switches and electrical outlets placed in accessible locations;

• Door locks that are easy to operate;

• Lever handles on doors and taps, instead of knobs;

• Pull-out shelves under the counter to enable work from a seated position;

• Non-slip flooring in the bathroom;

• A hand-held shower on an adjustable rod or high-low mounting brackets;

• Additional light fixtures throughout the home and at exterior entrances;

• Swing clear hinges on doors to widen doorways;

• Creation of knee space under the basin to enable use from a seated position (and insulation of any hot-water pipes);

• Relocation of tap to front or side for easier access;

• Hands-free taps;

• Motion-activated lighting; and

• Touch-and-release drawers and cupboards.

You can claim the lesser of $10,000 and the amount of eligible expenses that you, or someone on your behalf, paid or incurred related to your principal residence.

If you occupied more than one principal residence at different times in 2014, eligible expenses that you paid or incurred for one or more of those residences would qualify for the credit.

If you have any questions please contact us at:  Armour Mountain Office Services, #1 – 4353 Connor Road, Barriere, B.C., V0E 1E0.  Or call 250-672-9994, or email: ambats@live.ca