You love living in your own house. It gives you a sense of independence and control over your life, but there are a few changes that would make your life so much easier. Do you know about the BC Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and People with Disabilities?
What is the BC Home Renovation Tax Credit?
The Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and People with Disabilities is a way for eligible people to recover some of the costs of permanent renovations. The focus of the tax credit is to increase their quality of life and make their homes more accessible and functional.
What kinds of renovations are covered?
In general, a renovation is covered if it improves safety, mobility and functionality for seniors and people with disabilities. It won't be covered if it's primary purpose is to improve the appearance or ready the home for sale. General maintenance, gardening, landscaping, alarms, and appliances are not covered by the BC home renovation tax credit. Curiously, fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors are not covered. I guess they aren't renovations, strictly speaking.
Some examples of renovations that are covered are:
- Walk-in bathtubs
- Installing or lowering kitchen counters and cubboards
- Widening doorways for accessibility
- Building a bedroom on the ground floor
- Installing grab bars around toilets, tubs and showers
- Wheelchair ramps, lifts and elevators
Who is eligible for the Tax Credit?
To qualify for the Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and People with Disabilities you must be:
- a resident of B.C., and
- a senior or a family member living with a senior, or
- a person with a disability or a family member living with a person with a disability
How do you decide what renovations are needed?
Renovations can be complex and expensive. What looks like a simple change could turn out to be complex or even impossible. Something as simple as modifying the a doorway may involve extra materials, labour and engineering costs. Here's my suggestion for assessing the costs and weighing the alternatives:
- Use this self-assessment checklist: Resources for Downsizing and Aging In Place
- Talk to some professional renovators. We can provide some contacts if you call us at (604)889-3811
- When you have a list of necessary changes and an idea of the cost, call the BC Government at 1-877-387-3332
How do you assess the pros and cons?
If only things were a simple as they seem on the surface. You'd make a list of changes, hire a contractor to do the work, and apply for the tax credit. But I think reality can be more difficult to predict, especially when it comes to renovations. The question is whether to renovate or move to a more suitable home. It's a tough decision, but doing the homework will help you to make the wisest choice. A newer home can have many advantages for someone whose mobility is decreasing, but your current home is, well, it's your home. I don't want to leave my home, and you probably don't want to leave yours.
I've helped a lot of people educate themselves about these choices. I'd love to help you too. Use the contact form on the right to leave me a message, or call me at (604)889-3811.
You can read more here: Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and People with Disabilities