Renovations for tax credit?

One might think people are renovating their homes all over the Guildwood area to get the tax credit offered by the federal government, but not so.

People in the area, especially on Fordover Drive and Fintona Avenue, are repaving their driveways and fixing their roofs. On the short residential street of Fintona alone, nine homes are undergoing repairs.
If asked why, homeowners say it’s because their homes need it.

“People are renovating in this area because the houses are old,” Guildwood resident Permjit Buadhwal said.
The government of Canada is offering a 15 per cent Home Renovation Tax Credit for home renovations of $1,000 to $10,000. This is a way for Canadians to help stimulate the economy while fixing up their houses as well. The maximum money a person can get back from renovating their home is $1,350.

But tax credit does not seem to be the incentive for all the work.
“I don’t know of anybody who is using it.” Scarborough-Guildwood MP John McKay said. “It certainly benefits the higher tax payer over the lower one. It mostly benefits people who earn more money.”

Renovations must be made between Jan. 27, 2009 and Feb. 1, 2010, to count toward the credit. People cannot claim furniture, appliances, tools, or carpet cleaning as part of the HRTC. Any contract maintenance work like furnace cleaning is not claimable on the income tax form, according to the 2009 Canadian Federal government budget. Only renovations and additions including construction are eligible for this tax credit.

The HRTC is part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. The Canadian government expects the HRTC to help create a demand for labour and jobs, especially contract work on homes.