The HRTC (Home Renovation Tax Credit) is a non-refundable tax credit for improvements to your eligible dwelling. How do you know if your dwelling is eligible? Well, the Government of Canada considers an eligible dwelling to be an individual’s principal residence (or a family’s residence) at any time between January 27th, 2009 and February 1st, 2010. This means that any dwelling you own, occupy and use personally can qualify, even your cottage!

How do you know if you’re eligible for the credit? According to the Government of Canada eligibility will be family based. Basically, a family consists of you, your spouse or common-law partner and if you have children they must be 18 and under at the end of 2009. However, if two families live under the same roof then each family will be eligible for their own credit.

The Home Renovation Tax Credit will only be available for the 2009 tax year. It will only apply to expenditures of more than $1,000 and no more than $10,000. The result: a maximum credit of $1,350 [($10,000 – $1,000) x 15%].

This sounds great but be wary, you can’t just claim everything. Eligible expenditures are things like:

  • New carpet or new hardwood floors
  • Renovating a kitchen, basement or bathroom
  • New windows and doors
  • New boiler, furnace, woodstove, water softener, fireplace, oil tank or water heater
  • New ventilation systems
  • Central air conditioning system
  • New septic systems
  • Updating electrical wiring
  • Re-shingling your roof
  • New driveway or resurfacing your driveway
  • Exterior shutters and awnings
  • Adding a home security system
  • Adding solar panels and solar panel trackers
  • Painting the exterior and interior of your home
  • Building an addition such as garage, garden/storage shed, deck
  • Fencing your property
  • Permanent hot tub and above ground or in ground pool installation costs

In order to claim your home renovation tax credit you must present accurate documentation such as invoices, receipts, agreements. Make sure that you also have the following information: the business address of the vendor/contractor and their GST/HST registration number, a description of the goods and the date of their purchase, the delivery slip to prove when the goods were delivered and when the work was executed.