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Wednesday , 20 August 2014
Credits, rebates and incentives for homeowners and consumers

Credits, rebates and incentives for homeowners and consumers

There are a number of government tax credits, incentive programs and rebates available to residents of Ontario, ranging in value from a few dollars a month to as much as $24,000. Here is a selection of some of the more important ones.

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In Ontario, buyers of electric cars can be eligible for up to $9,500 in incentives, including $1,000 for installing an electric charging station in the home.

1. The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) lets you withdraw up to $25,000 from from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself or for a related person with a disability. You have to repay the RRSP within 15 years. If you don’t repay it, the borrowed money is considered income and taxed each year until the balance is zero.

2. The new housing GST/HST Rebate is available to you if you buy a new or “substantially renovated” home, or if you build one yourself and use it as your primary residence. The Ontario new housing rebate can be equal to a maximum of $24,000 and applies to various types of housing, regardless of the purchase price, provided that you meet the conditions for claiming it.

3. The Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant is worth up to $500 and is meant to help seniors pay their property taxes. To qualify you must be a homeowner, 64 years or older, you must be filing tax for 2012, and you must have paid property tax on your home in 2012 (or have a spouse who did).

4. The Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit is a refundable personal income tax credit for seniors (65 years or older) and family members who live with them. It’s intended to help with the costs of making your home safer and more accessible. You can claim up to $10,000; you will get back 15 per cent of the claimed amount, or $1,500.

5. The Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit is for low- to moderate-income individuals who pay rent or property tax in Ontario. Eligible individuals can receive up to $963 ($1,097 for seniors).

6. The Electric Vehicle Incentive Program gives eligible Ontario consumers an incentive ranging from $5,000 to $8,500 towards the purchase or lease of a new plug-in hybrid electric or battery electric vehicle. As of January 1, 2013, an additional rebate of up to $1,000 is available to consumers who qualified for the original rebate and who have installed an electric charging station in their home.

7. The CMHC Green Home rebate rewards consumers who buy energy-efficient homes or upgrade an existing home to make it more energy efficient. The plan provides a refund of 10 per cent on the mortgage insurance premium paid on the home’s mortgage. That premium ranges from 0.05 per cent to 2.75 per cent, depending on the loan-to-value ratio (the percentage of the value of the home that is financed).

As an example, for a home on which you took out a mortgage of $200,000 and paid the highest mortgage insurance premium (2.75 per cent), your refund would be $550 (10 per cent of $5,550).

8. The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit provides a 10 per cent rebate to anyone who pays a hydro bill. According to the ministry of energy, a typical family of four people uses 800 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month, which, at the higher-tier price of 8.7 ¢ per kWh, would cost $69.60. They would get a rebate of $6.90 on that bill.

About Nicole Ryan Editor

I am Nicole Ryan, a contributing editor at Condo.ca—Canada's Condominium Magazine.

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