VICTORIA – First-time home buyers can receive a cheque for up to $10,000 to help with the cost of buying a newly built home, and seniors who need permanent home renovations, to help them stay in their homes longer, will be assisted with the cost of those renovations through legislation introduced today by Finance Minister Kevin Falcon.

Bill 45, the Income Tax Amendment Act, 2012, introduces legislation for the B.C. First-Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus and the B.C. Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit announced in Budget 2012.

First-time buyers of newly built homes may be eligible to receive the B.C. First-Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus of up to $10,000 – giving families a break, while supporting the new-home construction sector. Individuals must apply for the bonus through the B.C. government. Bonus payments will be sent out as cheques in the mail.

A new B.C. Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit of up to $1,000 annually will be available to help with the cost of permanent home renovations that provide British Columbians aged 65 and over with increased independence, allowing them the flexibility to remain in their own homes longer. It will be available to individuals who incur eligible expenditures on or after April 1, 2012.

The credit can be claimed by seniors, whether they own their home or rent, and by individuals who share a home with a senior, when individuals file their personal income tax returns for 2012, and future years.