Imagine this – there is a bill in Congress proposing that seniors can have a tax credit up to $30,000 in a lifetime to install safety and accessibility features in their homes. It was introduced in May 2016 by a congressman from Florida and actually has some bipartisan support. It would start as of 12/31/2016 if passed. What the odds are on that.. hard to tell. But it is a step or maybe a stair glide in the right direction.
That amount is not going to get you that fabulous tiles walk in European shower, you have to have the money to spend in the first place. But it could allow you to have some tax relief for a simple box store walk in shower and installation costs. Or maybe that ramp into the back/front of the house that would make zero barrier access a reality. Surely having bathroom grab bars professionally installed is a worthy endeavor.
Here is the short summary of the bill: HR 5254
Senior Accessible Housing Act
This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to create a nonrefundable personal tax credit for senior citizens who modify their residences to enhance their ability to remain living safely, independently, and comfortably in the residences.
The credit applies to up to $30,000 of the expenses that individuals who are at least 60 years old incur over their lifetime to make modifications to their residences, including:
- the installation of entrance and exit ramps,
- the widening of doorways,
- the installation of handrails or grab bars,
- the installation of non-slip flooring, and
- other modifications that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) includes on a list of modifications that would enhance the ability of the individuals to remain living safely, independently, and comfortably in their residences.
The IRS must establish and maintain the list of acceptable modifications after consulting with the Department of Health and Human Services and receiving input from the public.
Read the entire bill here in text form: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-114hr5254ih/html/BILLS-114hr5254ih.htm
This is an election year and as they say – anything can happen! Find your representative and speak up.