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Home Accessibility Tax Credit (HATC): Enhancing Safety & Accessibility at Home

[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 27, 2024 1:52:20 PM / by Koroll & Company

Home AccessibilityRenovating a home to make it safer and more accessible for seniors or individuals with disabilities can be a transformative endeavour. Fortunately, in Canada, there's financial assistance available through the Federal Home Accessibility Tax Credit (HATC). This tax credit aims to alleviate some of the financial burden associated with making these necessary improvements. Let's delve into what the HATC entails and how it can benefit eligible individuals.

Who Qualifies for the HATC?

The HATC is designed to assist seniors aged 65 or older and individuals holding a valid Disability Tax Certificate (DTC). Additionally, caregivers supporting qualifying individuals may also be eligible to claim the credit on their behalf. Suppose you find yourself in a situation where you're supporting a loved one who qualifies directly for the HATC. In that case, you might be entitled to claim the credit, provided you meet certain criteria.

What Expenses Qualify?

Eligible expenses under the HATC cover a wide range of renovations aimed at improving accessibility and safety within the home. These may include the installation of grab bars and handrails, walk-in tubs or wheel-in showers, widening doorways for wheelchair accessibility, or lowering cabinets for easier reach. However, it's essential to note that certain expenses, such as household appliances, routine maintenance, or housekeeping costs, do not qualify for the credit.

How to Claim the HATC

Claiming the HATC involves completing Schedule 12 for Home Accessibility Expenses and providing detailed information about the incurred expenses and contractors involved. It's crucial to retain supporting documents, including invoices and receipts, as these may be requested for verification purposes. Additionally, if you've undertaken DIY renovations or had family members assist with the work, specific guidelines apply regarding what expenses can be claimed.

Double (or Triple) Credit

One significant advantage of the HATC is that many accessibility renovations also qualify as medical expenses. This means that eligible individuals may be able to claim the same expense for both the HATC and as an eligible medical expense, effectively doubling the benefit. Furthermore, some provinces offer additional provincial credits, allowing individuals to potentially claim the expense three times on their tax return.

Eligibility for Home Accessibility Expenses

Eligibility for home accessibility expenses hinges on qualifying individuals, eligible dwellings, and the nature of the renovations undertaken. Generally, qualifying individuals include those eligible for the DTC or individuals aged 65 or older. Eligible dwellings encompass housing units owned by qualifying individuals and meet specific conditions regarding occupancy and use.

Documentation and Verification

To support your claim for the HATC, it's essential to maintain proper documentation, including invoices, agreements, and receipts. These documents should clearly identify the type and quantity of goods or services purchased, as well as provide information about the contractors involved. Verification may be required, so ensuring the accuracy and completeness of your documentation is crucial.

The Federal Home Accessibility Tax Credit (HATC) plays a crucial role in facilitating home renovations aimed at enhancing safety and accessibility for seniors and individuals with disabilities. By understanding the eligibility criteria, qualifying expenses, and filing procedures associated with the HATC, eligible individuals can take advantage of this valuable tax credit to improve their living conditions and quality of life.

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The information presented is only of a general nature, may omit many details and special rules, is current only as of its published date, and accordingly cannot be regarded as legal or tax advice. Please contact our office for more information on this subject and how it pertains to your specific tax or financial situation.

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Topics: Tax Tips

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Written by Koroll & Company