If you renovated your home in order to make it more accessible, you might be able to claim the Home accessibility expenses. Under this tax credit, the maximum you can claim is $10,000 of your eligible expenses.
Depending on your situation, you can claim this credit as either a qualifying individual or an eligible individual; while this distinction doesn’t change the credit amount you’re entitled to, each has its own eligibility criteria. For more information, refer to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website.
Note: Both you and your spouse or common-law partner can claim a portion of the tax credit on your respective returns as long as the combined amount doesn’t exceed the maximum credit limit ($10,000). If you do decide to split the credit amount, you’ll need to indicate how much of the expenses the other person is claiming on their tax return (line 398 on their Schedule 1).
What does the CRA consider an “eligible dwelling”?
An eligible dwelling is a housing unit (or a share of the capital stock of a co-operative housing corporation that’s been acquired for the right to live in the housing unit owned by the corporation). The eligible dwelling must be located in Canada and meet at least one of the following conditions:
- It’s owned by the qualifying individual and is regularly lived in (or is expected to be regularly lived in once renovations are completed) during the year by the qualifying individual or
- It’s owned by the eligible individual and is regularly lived in (or is expected to be regularly lived in once renovations are completed) during the year by the eligible individual and qualifying individual (in this situation, the qualifying individual cannot own and regularly live in another housing unit in Canada)
What if I moved from one eligible dwelling to another in the same year?
If you’re a qualifying individual, you can only own one eligible dwelling at a time. However, there are situations where you might own more than such dwelling during the same year (for example, if you move from one eligible dwelling to another). If that’s the case, it’s important to remember that the total eligible expenses that you’re allowed to claim for all such dwellings can’t exceed the $10,000 maximum.
To be considered eligible, the renovations must:
- allow the qualifying individual to gain access to, or to be more mobile or functional within their home or
- reduce the risk of harm to the qualifying individual within their home or when gaining access to their home
Generally speaking, the renovations must also be of an enduring nature, meaning that once finished, any items that are installed become a permanent fixture within the home.
If you decide to complete the work yourself, the following expenses are considered eligible as long as they were paid for in the year the credit is being claimed:
- Building materials
- Equipment rentals
- Building plans and
Be sure to keep any receipts and invoices related to the renovations in case the CRA wants to see them at a later time. Unfortunately, you can’t claim the value of your own labor or tools as an expense.
If you’re hiring professionals, expenses paid for work done by electricians, plumbers, carpenters and architects qualify as eligible expenses.
Tax Tip: One or more of your eligible expenses might also qualify as a medical expense. If that’s the case, you might be able to claim it as a medical expense and as a home accessibility expense. For more information, refer to the CRA website.
Where can I claim this?
Follow these steps in H&R Block’s 2018 tax software:
- On the PREPARE tab, click the OTHER icon. You'll find yourself here:
- Under the MISCELLANEOUS heading, select the checkbox labelled Home accessibility expenses, then click Continue.
- When you arrive at the Home accessibility expenses page, enter your information into the tax software.