Confused about the reno tax credit?
As Mr. Speedy and I slog through our renovation work, I know that I've been keeping the Home Renovation Tax Credit in mind as a small consolation for the mounting bills. But when I'm asked specific questions about what qualifies, or how it works, I'm often found scrambling for my notes.
And, apparently, I'm not the only one. More than 80 per cent of Canadian homeowners say they know little to nothing about the HRTC, according to a recent poll by Angus Reid Strategies for H&R Block Canada. Conducted at the beginning of this month, the survey received answers from 1,398 randomly selected Canadian homeowners.
I think it's a real shame that we're so confused. After all, the HRTC, announced in the 2009 Federal Budget, could result in tax savings up to $1,350 for work done before Feb. 1, 2010 (a deadline 98 per cent of those polled were not aware of).
To qualify, a family must spend at least $1,000 on home renovations, up to a maximum of $10,000, on work performed or goods purchased for an owned, personal dwelling. But that's not all — the work must also be of an "enduring nature" and "integral to the dwelling." So, for example, replacing a few boards on your deck won't qualify, but renovating the whole thing would. Installing a new furnace, renovating a kitchen or bathroom, laying new floors, re-shingling a roof and painting also count. (Read more about the HRTC here.)
And, to help clear up the confusion, here are a few more pointers from H&R Block to make sure you get your money back:
- Keep your receipts and invoices
- All renovation expenses must be incurred after Jan. 27, 2009 and before Feb. 1, 2010
- You must claim a minimum of $1,000 up to a maximum of $10,000 (results in a maximum credit of $1,350 credit).
UPDATE: Much thanks to Ryan Keey for answering reader's queries in the comment section - you can check out his HRTC guide book here.