If you are 70 years of age or older, you may be entitled to a tax credit for home-support services for seniors. The tax credit is refundable, and you can claim it even if you have no income tax to pay.
The tax credit for home-support services for seniors is granted to seniors to make it easier for them to remain in their home so that they will not have to move to an establishment in the public health and social services network or so that they can delay having to make such a move. This assistance takes the form of a refundable tax credit that is based on certain expenses incurred to obtain home-support services. However, the amount of the eligible expenses for services included in the rent paid by a person living in an apartment building or a senior citizens’ residence is established without taking into account the cost actually paid for those services. Seniors may apply to receive advance payments of the tax credit.
NoteAs of the 2013 taxation year, this credit is called the tax credit for home-support services for seniors.
Eligible services There are two categories of eligible services:
Death If the recipient of the tax credit dies, the liquidator of the succession (estate) must notify Revenu Québec so that the payments of the tax credit are stopped and that the liquidator and the heirs do not have to repay any amounts overpaid. If the deceased recipient has a surviving spouse who is eligible, the spouse may claim the tax credit in his or her income tax return or apply to receive advance payments of the credit for the remainder of the year.
If the recipient's spouse dies, the liquidator of the succession must also notify Revenu Québec so that the payments made to the recipient can be adjusted.
The matrimonial status of the senior, the type of dwelling occupied, the cost of rent, the level of independence of the senior or the senior’s spouse, the family income and the cost of the services obtained are used to determine the amount of the credit. For the 2016 taxation yearThe tax credit is equal to 34% of eligible expenses. The annual limit on eligible expenses is $19,500 for a person who is not dependent and $25,500 for a person who is dependent. Therefore, the credit may not exceed $6,630 for a person who is not dependent and $8,670 for a person who is dependent. In the case of persons who are spouses on December 31 and are both entitled to the tax credit, the annual limit on eligible expenses for the couple is the sum of the maximum eligible expenses of each spouse. The tax credit to which an individual or a couple is entitled is reduced by 3% of the portion of family income that is over $56,515. Family income is the net income of the senior plus, where applicable, the net income of the senior’s spouse on December 31.
For the 2015 taxation yearThe tax credit is equal to 33% of eligible expenses, which cannot exceed $19 500 per year for an independent senior and $25 500 for a dependent senior. Therefore, the credit cannot exceed $6435 for an independent senior and $8415 for a dependent senior. In the case of spouses who, on December 31, were both entitled to the credit, the limit on the couple's eligible expenses is the sum of the maximum eligible expenses of each spouse. The tax credit to which an independent senior living alone or with a person under 70 is entitled is reduced by 3% of the portion of the annual family income that exceeds $55 905. The family income is the senior's income as well as, if applicable, the spouse's income on December 31.
Gradual increase in the rate of the tax credit As of the 2013 taxation year, the rate of the tax credit will increase one percentage point each year, until in 2017 the credit will be equal to 35% of eligible expenses. Eligible expenses In general, the amount of eligible expenses corresponds to the costs incurred to obtain eligible home-support services. For seniors living in a condominium, a portion of such costs may be included in the condominium fees. However, the amount of eligible expenses related to services included in rent does not correspond to the costs actually incurred for such services.
For a senior living in an apartment building, the amount is set at 5% of the rent, up to a rent of $600 per month. For example, for 2013, for a monthly rent of $800.00, the amount of eligible expenses is 5% x $600.00, or $30.00; the amount of the credit is 31% x $30.00, or $9.30 per month, for a total of $111.60 per year.
For a senior who rents an apartment or a room in a senior citizens’ residence, the amount is determined using tables in which amounts have been established for each such service (the services received by the senior are listed in the schedule to the lease). Thus:
The tax credit for home-support services for seniors has been in effect since January 1, 2000. It was modified on January 1, 2007, 2008 and 2013.