Line 398 – Home accessibility expenses

Are you eligible?

You can claim an amount for the eligible expenses for a qualifying renovation of an eligible dwelling, if:

A qualifying individual is:

  • an individual who is eligible for the disability tax credit for the year; or
  • an individual who is 65 years of age or older at the end of a year.

An eligible individual is:

  1. a spouse or common-law partner of a qualifying individual; or
  2. for a qualifying individual who is 65 years of age or older, an individual who has claimed the amount for an eligible dependant (line 305), or the Canada caregiver amount for other infirm dependants age 18 or older (line 307) for the qualifying individual, or could have claimed such an amount if:
    • the qualifying individual had no income;
    • for the eligible dependant amount, the individual was not married or in a common-law partnership; and
    • for the amount on lines 305 and 307, the qualifying individual was dependent on the individual because of mental or physical infirmity.
      OR
  3. If (2) does not apply, an individual who is entitled to claim the disability amount for the qualifying individual or would be entitled if no amount was claimed for the year by the qualifying individual or the qualifying individual's spouse or common-law partner.

Do you have an eligible dwelling?

An eligible dwelling is a housing unit (or a share of the capital stock of a co-operative housing corporation that was acquired for the sole purpose of acquiring the right to inhabit the housing unit owned by the corporation) located in Canada and meets at least one of the following conditions: 

  • it is owned (either jointly or otherwise) by the qualifying individual and it is ordinarily inhabited (or is expected to be ordinarily inhabited) in the year by the qualifying individual, or
  • it is owned (either jointly or otherwise) by the eligible individual and is ordinarily inhabited (or is expected to be ordinarily inhabited) in the year by the eligible individual and the qualifying individual, and the qualifying individual does not throughout the year own (either jointly or otherwise) and ordinarily inhabit another housing unit in Canada.

Note

Generally, the land on which the housing unit stands, up to ½ hectare (1.24 acres), will be considered part of the eligible dwelling. 

A qualifying individual may have only one eligible dwelling at any time, but may have more than one eligible dwelling in a year (for example, in a situation where an individual moves in the year). When a qualifying individual has more than one eligible dwelling in a year, the total eligible expenses for all such eligible dwellings of the qualifying individual cannot be more than $10,000.

What renovations or expenses are eligible and ineligible?

A qualifying renovation is a renovation or alteration that is of an enduring nature and is integral to the eligible dwelling (including the land that forms part of the eligible dwelling). The renovation must:

  • allow the qualifying individual to gain access to, or to be mobile or functional within, the dwelling; or
  • reduce the risk of harm to the qualifying individual within the dwelling or in gaining access to the dwelling.

An item you buy that will not become a permanent part of your dwelling is generally not eligible.

Eligible expenses

These expense are outlays or expenses made or incurred during the year that are directly attributable to a qualifying renovation of an eligible dwelling. The expenses must be for work performed and goods acquired in the tax year.

Work performed by yourself

If you do the work yourself, the eligible expenses include expenses for :

  • building materials;
  • fixtures;
  • equipment rentals;
  • building plans; and
  • permits.

However, the value of your labour or tools cannot be claimed as eligible expenses.

Work performed by a family member

Expenses are not eligible if the goods or services are provided by a person related to the qualifying individual or the eligible individual, unless that person is registered for goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) under the Excise Tax Act. If your family member is registered for GST/HST and if all other conditions are met, the expenses will be eligible for the home accessibility tax credit (HATC).

Work performed by professionals

Generally, paid work done by professionals such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters and architects for eligible expenses qualifies as eligible expenses. If you're planning on hiring a contractor to do construction, renovation, or repair work on your home, the Get it in writing! website has information that will help you.

Tip

See our underground economy webpage for tips to protect yourself when hiring a contractor.

Ineligible expenses

The following expenses will not be eligible for the HATC:

  • amounts paid to acquire a property that can be used independently of the qualifying renovation;
  • the cost of annual, recurring, or routine repair or maintenance;
  • amounts paid to buy household appliances;
  • amounts paid to buy electronic home-entertainment devices;
  • the cost of housekeeping, security monitoring, gardening, outdoor maintenance, or similar services;
  • financing costs for the qualifying renovation; and
  • the cost of renovation incurred mainly to increase or maintain the value of the dwelling.

Medical expense tax credit (METC)

You may have an eligible expense that also qualifies as a medical expense.  If so, you can claim the expense as a medical expense and a home accessibility expense.  For more information about medical expenses, see lines 330 and 331.

Condominium and co-operative housing corporations

For condominium or co-operative housing corporations, your share of the cost of eligible expenses for common areas qualifies for the HATC.

Other government grants or credits

The HATC is not reduced by assistance from the federal or a provincial/territorial government, including a grant, forgivable loan, or tax credit.

Vendor rebates or incentives

Eligible expenses are generally not reduced by reasonable rebates or incentives offered by the vendor or manufacturer of goods or the provider of the service.

Business and/or rental use of part of an eligible dwelling

If you earn business or rental income from part of an eligible dwelling, you can only claim the amount for eligible expenses incurred for the personal-use areas of your dwelling.

For expenses incurred and/or goods acquired for common areas or that benefit the housing unit as a whole (such as a ramp or hand rails), you must divide the expense between personal use and income-earning use. For more information, see Guide T4002, Self-employed Business, Professional, Commission, Farming, and Fishing Income or Guide T4036, Rental Income.

Completing your tax return 

To claim home accessibility expenses complete Schedule 12, Home Accessibility Expenses, and report the amount from line 4 of Schedule 12 on line 398 of Schedule 1, Federal Tax.

A maximum of $10,000 per year in eligible expenses can be claimed for a qualifying individual. When there is more than one qualifying individual for an eligible dwelling, the total eligible expenses cannot be more than $10,000 for the dwelling. The claim can be split between the qualifying individual and the eligible individual(s) for the qualifying individual. If the claimants cannot agree on what amount each person can claim, the CRA will determine the amounts.

Supporting documents

Eligible expenses must be supported by acceptable documentation, such as agreements, invoices, and receipts. They must clearly identify the type and quantity of goods bought or services provided, including, but not limited to, the following information, as applicable:

  • information that clearly identifies the vendor/contractor, their business address, and, if applicable, their GST/HST registration number;
  • a description of the goods and the date when they were bought;
  • the date when the goods were delivered (keep your delivery slip as proof) and/or when the work or services were performed;
  • a description of the work done, including the address where it was done;
  • the amount of the invoice;
  • proof of payment. Receipts or invoices must show that bills were paid in full or be accompanied by other proof of payment, such as a credit card slip or cancelled cheque; and
  • a statement from a co-operative housing corporation or condominium corporation (or, for civil law, a syndicate of co-owners) signed by an authorized individual identifying:
    • the amounts incurred for the renovation or the alteration work;
    • as a condominium owner, your part of these expenses if the work is done for common areas;
    • information that clearly identifies the vendor/contractor, their business address and, if applicable, their GST/HST registration number; and
    • a description of the work done or services performed and the dates when the work was done or the services were performed.

To verify whether someone is registered for GST/HST, consult the GST/HST Registry.

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