Did you know that your stairlift may be tax deductible?
Staying in the home you love, or helping a loved one age in place, might not always be an easy process. Living safely and independently in your own home could mean several additional costs. Fortunately, you may be able to get back some of what you spend by deducting those expenses from your taxes. In order to do this, it’s important you know what kind of tax credits you’re eligible for, which is why we’ve laid out the ones you should know about in this article. Lots of people miss out on tax credits available to them, simply because they don’t know about them, don’t let that happen you!
Medical Expenses Tax credit (METC)
The first tax credit that you should look into is the Medical Expenses Tax Credit (METC). This tax credit covers the cost of medical services and other expenses that you may have had within a 12-month period. However, you can only claim medical expenses after they exceed a certain amount, that is, 3 percent of your net income or $2,208, whichever is less. Several medical expenses are eligible to be used as tax credits, a list of which can be found here. Within the list is:
Lift or transportation equipment (power-operated) designed only to be used by a person with a disability to help him or her access different areas of a building, enter or leave a vehicle, or place a wheelchair on or in a vehicle – prescription needed.
Can a stairlift be considered medically necessary?
The short answer is it may be, if it’s considered a home improvement made for medical reasons. In order for your stairlift to be considered tax deductible it needs to be medically necessary and, therefore, be prescribed by a doctor. Once again, it’s important to keep in mind that a home improvement such as a stairlift must be made for health reasons and to ultimately improve the life of someone with a disability or illness, otherwise it won’t be tax deductible. The same logic applies to the costs of operating and maintaining such improvements, that is, these expenses may be considered tax deductible, but only if the main reason for them is a medical necessity.
Home accessibility expenses
Home accessibility expenses are the second type of tax credit you should consider when looking into whether your stairlift is tax deductible. In order to be eligible, the person applying for the credit must be:
- 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.
If the person applying is, in fact, eligible, they must make sure that their home modification qualifies. According to the Canada.ca website,
“a qualifying renovation is a renovation or alteration that is of an enduring nature and is integral to 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.”
A maximum of $10,000 per year in eligible expenses can be claimed per person, or per household, if more than one person in that household registers for home accessibility expenses.
Getting multiple tax credits on your stairlift
You may have an eligible home accessibility expense that also qualifies as a medical expense. If so, you can claim the expense as both a medical expense and a home accessibility expense and benefit from it twice!
How you can stay in the home you love
Deciding to stay in the home you love may not always be an easy decision. Perhaps going up and down the stairs has become a problem and a fear of falling is starting to weigh down on you. You may even be wondering if it would just be easier to relocate. But if you really think about the hassle of having to pack up all your cherished belongings, along with the emotional toll of leaving behind a place full of memories, you’ll start to see how it might be worth finding out what you can do to stay in the home you love.
That’s why at Stannah, we think about every little thing we can do to help you live safely and independently. Deducting your home improvements when filing your taxes, for example, may help you get back part of the investment you made on a stairlift. If you’re interested in other funding options which may be available to you, check out our prices page and our page on stairlift funding and grants or call us today. Our experienced advisors are happy to answer all of your questions and help you in any way they can.