Section 4 – Health, Seniors and Caregivers
Home Assistance – Seniors and Persons with Disabilities
Home-Support Services for Seniors – Quebec
The tax credit for home-support services for seniors allows individuals who are 70 years or older to reduce the costs of certain home support services in their area. This refundable tax credit is 35%10 of eligible expenses. The annual expense limit is $19,500 ($25,500 for seniors recognized as being dependent) for a maximum annual credit of $6,825 ($8,925 for seniors recognized as being dependent). The credit is reduced by 3% for each dollar of income of the senior and his/her spouse in excess of $60,13511, unless the senior is considered a dependent senior, in which case no reduction applies12.
10 Rate increased by 1% per year as of 2022 to reach 40% in 2026. 11 Threshold indexed annually. As of 2022, the reduction is based on two income thresholds, that is 3% for every dollar of income in excess of the first threshold ($60,135 threshold in 2021, indexed annually) and 7% for every dollar in excess of the second threshold (set at $100,000 for 2022, indexed annually thereafter). 12 As of 2022, the enhanced portion of the credit, that is the one calculated at a rate greater than 35%, will be reduced by 3% for every dollar of income in excess of the first income threshold ($60,135 in 2021). For a couple, the reduction will apply if one of the spouses is considered as being dependent.
Two types of services are eligible for the credit, i.e. personal support services, and maintenance and supply services. A few examples of eligible expenses are amounts paid for services related to:
- Day-to-day activities, such as dressing and hygiene (bath);
- Nursing services;
- Meal preparation, excluding the cost of the food;
- Household chores, such as cleaning and appliance maintenance (oven cleaning);
- Minor outdoor jobs like cutting the grass;
- Remote monitoring and locating by GPS.
The eligible expense calculation differs depending on whether it is a private seniors’ residence, an apartment building, a condominium, a house the senior owns or a health establishment13. The expenses for which this credit is claimed cannot be claimed otherwise as medical expenses in Quebec (see point 1 of this section).
Seniors may request payment of the credit in advance provided certain conditions are met. If both spouses are entitled to the credit, only one of them may claim it based on the couple’s eligible expenses incurred and the total of their annual expense limits.
13 For more details on eligible expenses based on the type of dwelling, refer to the Your Place of Residence subsection on Revenu Québec’s website page on this tax credit. For seniors who rent an apartment in an apartment building, an amount equivalent to 5% of the monthly rent (maximum monthly rent of $600) is considered an eligible expense for the credit. As of 2022, the calculation will be enhanced to consider maximum monthly rent of $1,200 (automatic minimum rent of $600).
Tax Credit for the Purchase or Rental of Equipment Designed to Help Seniors Live Independently at Home – Quebec
A taxpayer aged 70 years or older is entitled to a refundable tax credit equal to 20% of expenses incurred in excess of $250 for the acquisition, rental and installation in the taxpayer’s home of the following goods: a GPS remote monitoring or tracking device, devices to facilitate the use of a toilet, shower or bathtub, a mechanized rail-mounted chairlift to go up and down a staircase, alert systems for persons with hearing impairments, hearing aids, walkers, rollators, canes, crutches, non-motorized wheelchairs and a hospital bed. The expenses may not have been refunded to the taxpayer (unless the refund is taxable) and cannot entitle the taxpayer to any other tax credit or deduction.
Assistance Program to Offset Municipal Tax Increase – Quebec
Seniors may partially offset a municipal tax increase pursuant to a substantial assessment roll increase in their principal residence. The potential subsidy corresponds to the lesser of the amount indicated on the tax bill sent by the municipality and $500. The subsidy must be claimed on the tax return. To be eligible, the individual must be at least 65 years of age before the beginning of the year, have owned14 the residence for at least 15 years and his/her family income cannot exceed $53,30015.
14 Him/herself or his/her spouse. 15 Amount for 2021, indexed annually.
Home Accessibility Tax Credit – Federal
A non-refundable tax credit equivalent to 15% of up to $10,000 of expenses (maximum credit of $1,500) may be claimed for expenses incurred to renovate or alter a dwelling to make it more accessible for specified individuals, that is persons who are 65 years of age or older or persons with disabilities. The credit may be claimed by the specified individual or his/her spouse or by a member of his/her family who has claimed (or could claim) the amount for an eligible dependent, the amount for caregivers or the amount for persons with a disability over 18 years of age.
Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit – New Brunswick
Seniors who own or rent a dwelling and family members who live with a senior may claim a refundable tax credit of a maximum amount of $1,000 per year in respect of eligible renovation expenses incurred up to a maximum of $10,000.
Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit – Ontario
For 2021 only, senior16 homeowners or renters and people who live with relatives who are seniors can benefit from a refundable tax credit equal to 25% of eligible renovation expenses to a maximum of $10,000 (maximum credit of $2,500).
16 As at December 31 of the year in question, the person must be at least 65 years old.
Eligible expenses must be paid or become payable during the year to the extent that they relate to renovations to a primary residence17 that improve safety and accessibility or help a senior be more functional or mobile at home. They include:
- Renovations to permit a first-floor occupancy or secondary suite for a senior;
- Grab bars and related reinforcements around the toilet, tub and shower;
- Wheelchair ramps, stair/wheelchair lifts and elevators;
- Non-slip flooring;
- Additional light fixtures throughout the home and exterior entrances;
- Automatic garage door openers; and
- Modular or removable versions of a permanent fixture, such as modular ramps and non-fixed bath lifts.
17 A residence that is reasonably expected to become the individual’s principal residence before 2024 also qualifies.
Home Buyers’ Plan
There are a number of specific provisions in the HBP rules relating to the acquisition of a residence that is adapted to the needs of handicapped persons (see Section II).
This document is up to date as of August 1, 2021 and reflects the status of legislation, including proposed amendments at this date.