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Increase in the Refundable Tax Credit for Home-Support Services for Seniors

There will be a number of changes to the refundable tax credit for home-support services for seniors as of the 2013 taxation year.

Improvement to the parameters for calculating the tax credit

As of the 2013 taxation year, the maximum amount of the credit will be raised from $15,600 to $19,500 for seniors who are not recognized as dependent. For seniors who are recognized as dependent, the annual maximum amount of eligible expenses will be raised from $21,600 to $25,500.

The rate of the tax credit will also be increased by one percentage point each taxation year, until it reaches 35% in 2017.

When the refundable tax credit for home-support services for seniors is determined in respect of a couple, the elimination of the reduction based on family income will apply as soon as one member of the couple is recognized as dependent.

Recognition of remote monitoring services and GPS tracking services

The list of recognized personal support services will change to include the following:

  • person-focused remote monitoring services provided to seniors not living in a private seniors' residence;
  • services associated with the use of a GPS tracking device that is installed in objects such as a watch, a cell phone or shoes and sends signals to a receiver.

The costs incurred for the rental or purchase of a remote monitoring device or a GPS tracking device and the installation of such a device will not be considered eligible expenses for the refundable tax credit for home-support services for seniors. Such costs may, however, qualify for the new refundable tax credit for the purchase or rental of equipment to help seniors continue living independently at home.

Certification of private seniors' residences

Tax legislation will be amended to provide that a congregate residential facility or part of such a facility may be considered a private seniors' residence for a given month, provided the operator of the facility holds a temporary certificate of compliance or a certificate of compliance issued by the health and social services agency of the region in which the facility is located and the certificate is valid at the beginning of that month.

Determination of eligible expenses included in rent

Persons 70 or older living in a dwelling unit in a private seniors' residence and those living in a private residential long-term care centre not under agreement will have to use, beginning 2013, one of two tables for determining eligible expenses included in rent.

The table for determining expenses on an individual basis will apply to seniors who:

  • live in a dwelling unit alone or with another person that they house;
  • are co-tenants in a dwelling unit with at least one other person who is not their spouse;
  • live with a spouse under age 70 at the end of a given month.

The table for determining expenses for a couple will apply to seniors who share a dwelling unit solely with their spouse age 70 or older at the end of a given month.

To calculate the amount of eligible expenses included in the total monthly rent, a senior must determine the maximum value of the eligible expenses. This can by done by adding the various amounts related to the services the senior or the senior's household receives to the value of the basic amount. The services are listed in the document Schedule to the Lease: Services Offered to the Lessee Owing to His Personal Condition, Including Services Offered to Elderly or Handicapped Persons, which is included with the lease for the dwelling unit. 

If the services are not listed in the schedule to the lease, the maximum value of the eligible expenses included in the total monthly rent for a dwelling unit will be equal to the value of the applicable basic amount.

Where, at the beginning of a given month, a person 70 or older lives in a dwelling unit in a facility or part of a facility that has ceased to be a private seniors' residence, the amount of the eligible expenses included in the person's rent will be limited to 5% of the portion of the monthly rent for which the person is responsible, to a total rent of $600 per month.

For further information, see page 2 in Additional Information on the Fiscal Measures of the Budget, published by the Ministère des Finances.

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