Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC)

As part of Canada's Economic Action Plan the Canadian government announced as part of their budget the Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC). This is a $3 billion stimulus to encourage investments in Canada's housing stock. The main goal is to create economic activity by increasing the demand for labour, building materials and other goods in relation to the housing market.

The HRTC applies to home renovation expenditures for work performed or good acquired for home renovations after January 27, 2009 and before February 1, 2010. This is a tax credit not a grant or a loan. Once you spend over $1,000 in renovations the portion above the $1,000 up to $10,000 is eligible for a 15% tax credit to be applied to your income tax to lower your tax liability. The maximum credit you can receive is $1,350. The HRTC applies to the renovations costs for one or more of an individual's eligible dwellings including houses, cottages and condominium units that are owned for personal use. Routine repairs and maintenance does not qualify for the credit but renovations such as re-modeling a kitchen or finishing a basement do qualify. The HRTC can be combined with other grant and rebate programs such as ecoEnergy grants. The tax credit can be claimed on the 2009 income tax return.

The HRTC is a good tax credit for those who were either planning home renovations or making their homes more energy efficient by replacing hot water tanks with an on demand tank or installing a high energy efficiency furnace. It is not for those who decide to borrow funds for their home renovation simply to take advantage of the tax credit. If you are a frugal DIYer you will be able to maximize the renovation savings on materials and labour as well as taking advantage of the tax credit.


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