Monday, November 16, 2009

What I did on my autumn vacation...Part One

I was pretty worried when, on Day One of my two-week vacation, I came home to find one of our walls painted. There was a ladder in the house, and paint cans and paint rollers and tape and drop cloths and so on. My first thought was, of course, that since I had two weeks off work, my wife had found something time-consuming for me to do. This turned out not to be the case, however, and I was much relieved. This was her project, and hers alone, and she didn't trust me to do any of this myself. So I installed a towel rack (which is about the extent of my handyman ability), raked some leaves, and got snow tires put on the cars. And my around-the-house job was done.

Then on Saturday morning I went to Home Depot for a live commercial where I was trying to convince people to come in for a seminar on the Home Renovation Tax Credit. And I started kicking myself - we (or, rather, my wife) had started a whole series of home renovations, and we hadn't kept any receipts and had no idea how much we'd spent. Then I discovered that the credit applies only to home renovations that cost more than $1,000. And even then, it's a tax credit that's really worth your while when you approach ten grand in home repairs. I think we may have spent $78. No tax credit for us.

Just a thought - the Home Reno Tax Credit (HRTC) is applied to the 2009 tax return. You have until February 1st of 2010 to spend your money in order to be eligible for this one-time tax credit. The idea, I guess, is that it's a way of stimulating the economy through more people purchasing more things. Which is fine. But it still hasn't passed in the House of Commons. And although every party has said that they will keep the HRTC intact, they're still asking people to do these projects on faith. Assuming that the thing will pass before it's too late, and assuming that the repairs and renovations they are doing now will be covered. I'm sure it will all work out in the end...but to ask people to do something this big now, where they have to get it done before they even know for sure whether they can claim the tax rebate, requires a pretty big leap of faith.

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