Line 31285 – Home accessibility expenses

Note: Line 31285 was line 398 before tax year 2019.

Line 31285 – Home accessibility expenses –

Are you eligible?

You can claim an amount for the eligible expenses for a qualifying renovation of an eligible dwelling, if either of the following applies to you:

qualifying individual can be either of the following:

  • an individual who is eligible for the disability tax credit at any time in the year
  • an individual who is 65 years of age or older at the end of the year

An eligible individual is any of the following:

  1. a spouse or common-law partner of a qualifying individual
  2. a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, nephew or niece of a qualifying individual, or of the qualifying individual’s (spouse or common-law partner) that has claimed the amount for an “eligible dependant,” “caregiver amount,” or amount for an “infirm dependent age 18 or older” for the qualifying individual, or could have claimed such an amount if:
    • the qualifying individual had no income
    • for a qualifying individual who is a child, if that child had been 18 years of age or older in the tax year
    • in the case of the “eligible dependant” amount, the individual was not married and not in a common-law partnership
    • in the case of the amount for an “infirm dependant age 18 or older,” where the qualifying individual who is 65 years of age or older at the end of a year, and is not eligible to claim the disability tax credit, the qualifying individual was dependent on the individual because of mental or physical infirmity
  3. if (2) does not apply, an individual who is entitled to claim the disability amount for the qualifying individual, or would be entitled if no amount was claimed for the year by the qualifying individual or the qualifying individual’s spouse or common-law partner

Do you have an eligible dwelling?

An eligible dwelling is a housing unit (or a share of the capital stock of a co-operative housing corporation that was acquired for the sole purpose of acquiring the right to inhabit the housing unit owned by the corporation) located in Canada and meets at least one of the following conditions: 

  • It is owned (either jointly or otherwise) by the qualifying individual and it is ordinarily inhabited (or is expected to be ordinarily inhabited) in the year by the qualifying individual
  • It is owned (either jointly or otherwise) by the eligible individual and is ordinarily inhabited (or is expected to be ordinarily inhabited) in the year by the eligible individual and the qualifying individual, and the qualifying individual does not throughout the year own (either jointly or otherwise) and ordinarily inhabit another housing unit in Canada


Generally, the land on which the housing unit stands, up to ½ hectare (1.24 acres), will be considered part of the eligible dwelling.

A qualifying individual may have only one eligible dwelling at any time, but may have more than one eligible dwelling in a year (for example, in a situation where an individual moves in the year). When a qualifying individual has more than one eligible dwelling in a year, the total eligible expenses for all such eligible dwellings of the qualifying individual cannot be more than $10,000.

What renovations or expenses are eligible and ineligible?

qualifying renovation is a renovation or alteration that is of an enduring nature and is integral to the eligible dwelling (including the land that forms part of the eligible dwelling). The renovation must meet one of the following conditions:

  • allow the qualifying individual to gain access to, or to be mobile or functional within, the dwelling
  • reduce the risk of harm to the qualifying individual within the dwelling or in gaining access to the dwelling

An item you buy that will not become a permanent part of your dwelling is generally not eligible.

Eligible expenses

These expense are outlays or expenses made or incurred during the year that are directly attributable to a qualifying renovation of an eligible dwelling. The expenses must be for work performed and goods acquired in the tax year.

Work performed by yourself

If you do the work yourself, the eligible expenses include expenses for:

  • building materials
  • fixtures
  • equipment rentals
  • building plans
  • permits

However, the value of your labour or tools cannot be claimed as eligible expenses.

Work performed by a family member

Expenses are not eligible if the goods or services are provided by a person related to the qualifying individual or the eligible individual, unless that person is registered for goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) under the Excise Tax Act. If your family member is registered for GST/HST and if all other conditions are met, the expenses will be eligible for the home accessibility tax credit (HATC).

Work performed by professionals

Generally, paid work done by professionals such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters and architects for eligible expenses qualifies as eligible expenses.

If you’re planning on hiring a contractor to do construction, renovation, or repair work on your home, see Protect yourself – Get it in writing!


See underground economy for tips to protect yourself when hiring a contractor.

Ineligible expenses

The following expenses are not eligible for the HATC:

  • amounts paid to acquire a property that can be used independently of the qualifying renovation
  • the cost of annual, recurring, or routine repair or maintenance
  • amount paid to buy household appliances
  • amount paid to buy electronic home-entertainment devices
  • the cost of housekeeping, security monitoring, gardening, outdoor maintenance, or similar services
  • financing costs for the qualifying renovation
  • the cost of renovation incurred mainly to increase or maintain the value of the dwelling
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