Tax season is here and if you're like most Canadians, you'd love to find a few ways to keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket. If you're a homeowner, there are a few tax breaks to look into before filing for the 2015 tax year.
First-time homebuyers can still claim $5,000 if they purchased a home in 2015. Qualifying homes include single-family and semi-detached houses, townhouses, mobile homes, condominiums, and apartments in duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, or apartment buildings. Some co-op housing also qualifies, so it's worth checking if you bought a co-op property in 2015.
A home purchased by or for a person with disabilities also qualifies for the same $5,000 tax credit regardless of how many homes they've owned before. As long as the person is qualified for the disability tax credit, they can claim the $5,000 homebuyers credit.
Senior homeowners, or those who live with them, can claim the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit for any improvements to a home that help a senior live safely. Available in Ontario only, renovations for wheelchair accessibility, grab bars, railings and other features qualify for this tax credit, regardless of income. The credit is based on 15% of eligible expenses up to $10,000. The new Ontario budget has killed this credit, so 2016 is the final year to claim it.
Additionally, seniors living in Ontario who own their own home can apply to receive the Ontario Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant (OSHPTG). This program allows seniors to receive a $500 per year grant toward their property taxes. You apply each year so seniors applying on their 2015 tax return will receive the grant for their 2016 property taxes.
Work with your tax professional to make sure you take advantage of all of your qualifying tax credits for 2015.
Here are additional resources:
Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit: http://www.ontario.ca/taxes-and-benefits/healthy-homes-renovation-tax-credit
Ontario energy and property tax credit: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bnfts/rltd_prgrms/ntr-eng.html#ptc