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Don’t forget about homeowner tax breaks!

A New Year means tax season is right around the corner. One of the many perks of homeownership is potential big tax breaks. So whether you’re doing your taxes yourself or getting help from a professional, it’s important to take advantage of those breaks!

Home Office:

There are specific criteria that have to be met in order to deduct home office expenses, but it can lead to a very large deduction. In general, your home office has to be used specifically for business purposes. Check with a tax professional to see if your home office qualifies for a deduction—it’s a little extra work, but can make a big difference in your tax responsibility. Examples of the type of expenses that you can claim include heating, home insurance, electricity and cleaning materials.

Accessibility:

Renovations that make homes safer or more accessible for seniors or the disabled may qualify for a new tax credit in 2016. If you are a senior or hold a valid disability tax certificate or are supporting a qualifying individual, up to $10,000 in expenses can be claimed under the Home Accessibility Tax Credit.

Rental income:

If you rent a property you own or that you have use of, use the T776 tax form to report rental income and claim allowable expenses such as advertising, insurance and interest on money you borrow to buy or improve the property.

Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit:

This credit helps low- to moderate-income individuals with property taxes and the sales tax on energy.  Visit the Ministry of Finance website for more information about qualifications.

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