Renovation tax credit helps B.C. seniors stay in their own homes

Renovation tax credit helps B.C. seniors stay in their own homes

As of Sunday, April 1, a new B.C. Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit will be available to help with the cost of permanent home renovations so that British Columbians aged 65 and over will have the flexibility to remain in their own homes longer.

“Home is where the heart is. We know that seniors, like everyone else, are happiest in their homes,” Premier Christy Clark said. “That’s why our government introduced the Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit, to help seniors stay independent, healthy and in their homes.”

The refundable credit will be worth up to $1,000 each year, and it will be available to seniors or family members sharing their home, regardless of whether they own or rent.

“In addition to improving the quality of life for seniors in home care, this initiative will make it easier for many home care providers to do their job,” said BC Care Providers Association CEO Ed Helfrich. “With an increasing demand for home support services, seniors’ homes are increasingly becoming work places for care aides. The structural home improvements that will result from this policy change will make this work space safer and more efficient for all.”

The tax credit will also help to protect and create jobs by supporting the home renovation industry.

“This renovation tax credit ensures our home-renovation industry remains strong and growing,” said Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong.

“We anticipate that this initiative will result in a significant amount of new spending on home improvements.”

Information about the B.C. Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit:

The B.C. Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit is a new, refundable personal income tax credit to assist with the cost of permanent home renovations that provide individuals aged 65 and over with increased independence, allowing them the flexibility to remain in their own homes longer.

The maximum credit will be $1,000 annually, calculated as 10 per cent of eligible expenditures. The credit will be available to individuals who incur eligible expenditures on or after April 1, 2012. The credit can be claimed by seniors, whether they own their home or rent, and by individuals who share a home with a senior relative.

Legislation will be introduced later this spring, at which time a detailed list of eligible expenses will be available. Eligible expenditures will include things like:

* Upgrades to improve accessibility, including handrails, grab bars, walk-in bathtubs and wheel-in showers.

* Wheelchair ramps, lifts and elevators.

* Motion-activated lighting.

* Certain renovations to allow a first-floor occupancy or secondary suite for a senior relative (e.g., adding a bedroom/bathroom to the main floor so a senior can have access without having to use the stairs, eligible renovations must be “disability” related).

Below are some expenditures that will be excluded from eligibility:

* General maintenance, including roof repairs, windows, flooring, insulation and painting.

* Devices, such as equipment for medical monitoring and home security, smoke alarms, appliances.

* Services, including home care, housekeeping and gardening.

* For more information, please visit

* For B.C. tax questions, call 1-877-388-4440, or email: