You have until February 10, 2010, to get some money back on home and garden improvements. So, if you need it, there's extra incentive to spend on your garden this year.
This program means you can get a credit on eligible expenditures of more than $1,000, up to $10,000. At $10,000, the maximum tax credit is $1,350.
Obviously, home reno projects, such as a new bathroom, kitchen or roofing, even painting, qualify for the tax credit, but which landscaping projects can you claim? Here's a list:
* New sod
* Interlocking driveways
* Retaining walls
* Irrigation and lighting systems
* Ponds and waterfalls
* Garden sheds
* Professional landscape design services
* Professional landscape contractor services
What you cannot claim is the expense of hiring somebody to clean up your yard. (Too bad!) Annuals, lawn and garden maintenance, tree maintenance, snow removal, hanging baskets, containers and planters also do not qualify. Essentially, the tax credit is for any improvement or renovation of an enduring nature to your home or the land on which your house sits.
If you're doing a project yourself, only the purchase of materials (landscape pavers, wood for a deck, for example) and enduring plants (perennials, sod, trees or shrubs) qualifies under the program. Your own labor isn't eligible. However, if you hire a contractor, you can claim the full cost for the tax credit. For more info from the horse's mouth, see FAQ at Canada Revenue Agency.
Will the tax credit give you an incentive to plan a project you might not have done this year? We don't have any landscaping projects in mind, but we are getting a new roof and some painting done. We were going to do these projects anyway, so the tax credit is a bonus for us.