Tax Credits for Students
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Tax Credits for Students

Tax Credits for Students
 
 
 
Tax Credits for Students
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Line 323 Tuition, Education and Textbook Tax CreditsIncome Tax Act s. 118.5, 118.6
The tax credits for tuition, education amounts and textbooks are non-refundable tax credits.  There is a Federal tax credit as well as a provincial or territorial tax credit for tuition, education and textbook amounts.  For this reason, to claim these amounts, or to transfer them to another person, you must complete both the Federal Schedule 11 of your tax return, and the provincial S(11) schedule.  Québec uses Schedule T for tuition or examination fees being claimed or carried forward.  The Federal and provincial (except Québec) forms are available on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website.
In general the following qualify for the tuition tax credit:Tuition fees, if they total more than $100, for courses at a post-secondary school level paid to a university, college, or other educational institution in CanadaTuition fees, if they total more than $100, for courses to provide a student who is at least 16 years old at the end of the taxation year with skills for (or improve the student's skills in) an occupation, paid to an educational institution in Canada certified by the Minister of Human Resources Development (see Master List of Designated Educational Institutions on Canlearn.ca website)Tuition fees for a student in full-time attendance at a university outside Canada for a course, of at least 13 consecutive weeks in duration, leading to a degreeTuition fees, if they total more than $100, for courses at a post-secondary school level paid to a university, college or other educational institution in the United States to which a student living near the Canada-United States border commutesTo claim the tax credit for tuition fees, you must have received from the educational institution either an official tax receipt or a completed form T2202A, Tuition, Education and Textbook Amounts Certificate.  If you paid less than $100 for the year to any particular educational institution, that amount is not claimable.  Otherwise, the total tuition fees paid in the year are claimable.  This could also include the cost of courses and seminars related to your work.  The costs of books, room and board, or student association fees cannot  be claimed.  If the fees were paid by your employer or the employer of one of your parents, then the costs are not deductible unless the reimbursed amount is included in your income or your parent's income.  Private school tuition fees for elementary and secondary students are generally not tax deductible.  See our private school tuition fees article.If you were taking courses as a requirement of your employment, and your employer has provided you with a form T2200, Declaration of Conditions of Employment indicating this requirement, then the cost can be claimed as an employment expense, instead of as a tuition tax credit.The education amount tax credit can be claimed for each whole or part month in which you were enrolled in a qualifying program at a designated educational institution.  The educational institution must provide either a T2202 Education and Textbook Amounts Certificate, or a T2202A Tuition, Education and Textbook Amounts Certificate.  The certificate will show the number of months you were enrolled in a qualifying educational program or a specified educational program.  The amount that can be claimed is $400 per month for full time enrollment, or $120 per month for part time enrollment.If you attended only part time and are eligible for the disability tax credit (see Disability Amount Tax Credit), then you can claim $400 per month.  If you attended only part time because of a disability which would qualify you for the disability tax credit except that it is not severe and prolonged, you can claim $400 per month.  In this case an authorized person must complete part 3 of form T2202, or give you a signed letter certifying your impairment.Starting with the 2004 taxation year, if a person takes a qualifying educational program in connection with their employment, this qualifies for the education tax credit providing that no part of the cost of the education is reimbursed by the employer.The textbooks tax credit is an additional tax credit starting in 2006, similar to the education tax credit, for textbooks.  The federal non-refundable tax credit is based on $65/month for full-time attendance or $20/month for part-time attendance.
 
 
For education and textbook amounts by province/territory, see the tables of non-refundable tax credits. 
 
Transfer or Carry-Forward of Unused Tuition, Education or Textbook AmountsIncome Tax Act s. 118.8, 118.81, 118.9, 118.91If you do not have enough income to utilize your total tuition costs, education amount or textbooks amount, you can either carry forward these amounts to future years (no limit to carry-forward period), or you can transfer the costs to your spouse, common law partner, or to a parent or grandparent of you or your spouse or common law partner.  The maximum amount that can be transferred to a spouse, parent or grandparent is $5,000(note 1), less the costs claimed by the student.  This may still result in costs remaining that can be carried forward.  The transfer of costs to another person should not be more than can be utilized on their tax return.  Then any excess costs can still be carried forward.webbot bot="PurpleText" PREVIEW="Start of ad Filing Articles 160x600 txt/img ATF channel Filing Articles text -targetable 2009/11/21" webbot bot="PurpleText" PREVIEW="End of Google ad" Note 1: re the maximum amount transferable:  $5,000, less the amount being claimed by the student in the year, is the maximum federally and in all provinces and territories except Ontario and Québec.  The Ontario maximum for 2012 is $6,503 (2013 is $6,620), less the amount being claimed by the student in the year.Once unused costs have been carried forward, they cannot be transferred to anyone in a future year.  In future years, the carried forward amounts are claimed by completing both the federal Schedule 11 of the tax return, and the provincial S(11) schedule.  Carried forward amounts must be claimed in the first year that tax is payable.  Only the amounts required to reduce taxes to zero would be claimed, and any remainder would again be carried forward.There is a Federal tax credit as well as a provincial or territorial tax credit for tuition, education and textbook amounts.  For this reason, to claim these amounts, or to transfer them to another person, you must complete both the Federal Schedule 11 of your tax return, and the provincial S(11) schedule.  You must also designate the individual, and specify the federal and provincial amounts that you are transferring to them, on your Form T2202, T2202A, TL11A, TL11B, or TL11C.  Québec uses Schedule T for tuition or examination fees being claimed or carried forward.  The unused amounts carried forward on the federal Schedule 11 will often be different from the unused amounts carried forward on the provincial S(11) schedule.  When claiming the carried forward amounts in the following year, make sure you use the federal amounts when completing your Federal Schedule 11, and the provincial amounts when completing your provincial S(11) schedule.  The federal and provincial (except Québec) forms are available on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website.Amounts cannot be transferred to both a parent or grandparent and to a spouse.  If part of the tuition, education and textbook amounts are transferred to a parent or grandparent,  they will claim this on line 324 of their tax return.  Amounts transferred to a spouse will be included on your Schedule 2, and their Schedule 2, and they will claim this amount on line 326 of their tax return.Tuition Transfers and Dividend IncomeIf a student has significant Canadian dividend income (probably an unusual situation), it is possible that no transfer of tuition/education amounts will be allowed, even though the student may not need the entire tax credit.  This is because the amount of the tuition/education tax credit used by the student is calculated before the dividend tax credit is deducted.  The result may be that the entire tuition/education amount is utilized, but not the entire dividend tax credit.  Unfortunately, the unused dividend tax credit cannot be carried forward.  If the student has a spouse, in some situations the dividend income can be transferred to the spouse.  This would also probably enable a transfer of part of the tuition/education amounts to the spouse.In Québec, the situation is a little different if there is a spouse, because unused credits can be transferred to the spouse, including unused dividend tax credits.Moving to another provinceIf you moved to another province after carrying forward tuition and education amounts, then you will use the federal unused tuition and education amounts from your notice of assessment as a carry-forward when completing the provincial Schedule 11 for your new province of residence, unless you moved to Ontario, Prince Edward Island, or Québec.If you moved to ON from QC, use the federal amount, otherwise use the provincial amountIf you moved to PE from QC, use the federal amount, otherwise use the lower of the provincial or federal amount.If you moved to QC from any other province, when completing Schedule T, use the tuition amounts shown on your prior year T2202A, as long as they do not exceed the carried forward amount shown on your notice of assessment.  In Québec, the education and textbook amounts from previous years cannot be utilized for the provincial tax credit.The above will be done automatically if a software package is used to file your return, using the amounts that you enter as  federal and provincial carried forward amounts.  If you are using manual forms, the above information is found on the bottom of each provincial Schedule 11 form, except for the Québec form.  The Québec reference for this is Québec Taxation Act s. 752.0.18.10 and 752.0.18.13.Tuition claims in year of deathIn the year of death, the tuition, education and textbook amounts from the current year or from carried forward amounts may be split between the final tax return and the "rights and things" tax return in order to maximize the tax credit.  Unfortunately, it is still possible for a portion of these amounts to not be utilized.  Current year tuition and education amounts can be transferred in the year of death, but not carried forward amounts.See also Tax Information for Students.Further information on the CRA website:Line 323 Tuition, education and textbook amountsP105 Students and Income Tax Pamphlet The following income tax folios were published on March 28, 2013 in consultation format to allow for feedback from the tax community.  They will be available until June 28, 2013: S1-F2-C1: Education and Textbook Tax CreditsS1-F2-C2: Tuition Tax Credit  Revised: Tuition tax credit for courses outside CanadaIncome Tax Act s. 118.5(1)(b)In some cases a tuition tax credit may be claimed for courses taken outside Canada.  The following criteria must be satisfied in order to claim the credit:webbot bot="PurpleText" PREVIEW="Start of ad Filing Articles 160x600 txt/img ATF channel Filing Articles text -targetable 2009/11/21" webbot bot="PurpleText" PREVIEW="End of Google ad" full-time attendance at a university outside Canada in a course leading to a degree (not just a diploma).the university must be recognized by a nationally accepted accrediting body of its country.  The institutions in Schedule VIII of the Income Tax Act Regulations are qualifying institutions.  To obtain a current list, contact a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Tax Services Office.the course must not be less than 3 consecutive weeks in duration (13 weeks prior to 2011).fees paid by the student's employer, or by the employer of a parent of the student, may not be claimed unless those fees have been included in the income of the student or the student's parent.When the courses taken outside Canada have been completed online, the tuition tax credit may still be claimed if the courses have a duration of at least 13 weeks.  See the Tax Court of Canada cases McGrath v. The Queen, November 2006 and Valente v. The Queen, March 2006.When the courses taken outside Canada have been taken by correspondence, the tuition tax credit may not be claimed.  However, the education credit for part-time enrollment may still be claimed, because the criteria includes enrollment, not physical attendance.  See Tax Court of Canada case Cleveland v. The Queen, October 2003.The educational institution will provide formTL11A - Tuition, education and textbook amounts certificate - university outside CanadaTL11C - Tuition, education and textbook amounts certificate - commuter to the United States, orTL11D - Tuition fees certificate - Educational institutions outside Canada for a deemed resident of CanadaThere have been Tax Court Cases which denied the tuition credit for courses which did not meet the 13 week duration criteria.  See Tax Court of Canada cases Fayle v. The Queen, January 2005, and Ali v. The Queen, November 2004.CRA Resources:Eligible tuition feesRC192 Information for Students - Educational Institutions Outside CanadaRC190 Information for Educational Institutions Outside CanadaTax Tip:  Make sure your university courses taken outside Canada have a duration of at least 3 weeks.Education and textbook tax credits for courses outside CanadaRef:  Income Tax Act s. 118.6(1)(b), 118.6(1)(c) and 118.6(2)When courses are taken outside Canada, education and textbook tax credits may be claimed according to the guidelines in Tuition costs and education amount above.  A designated educational institution includes: a university outside Canada at which the individual was enrolled in a course, of not less than 3 consecutive weeks duration (13 weeks prior to 2011), leading to a degree, orif the individual resided throughout the year in Canada near the US border, a university, college or other educational institution in the US providing courses at a post-secondary school level, to which the individual commuted. 
To qualify for the part-time education tax credit, the individual must be enrolled at a designated educational institution in a program of not less than 3 consecutive weeks duration, that provides that each student in the program spend not less than 12 hours in the month on courses in the program.For the amounts of Federal and provincial/territorial education and textbook tax credits, see the tables of non-refundable tax credits. See also Tax Information for Students Private School Tuition FeesGenerally, the cost of tuition for private school for elementary and secondary school students is not tax deductible.  There are non-refundable tuition and education tax credits available for qualifying post-secondary education.A portion of the private school tuition fees, if it relates to child care services, may qualify as child care costs. webbot bot="PurpleText" PREVIEW="Start of ad Filing Articles 160x600 txt/img ATF channel Filing Articles text -targetable 2009/11/21" webbot bot="PurpleText" PREVIEW="End of Google ad" There are special circumstances in which all or a portion of the fees paid to a private school may be considered a donation, and qualify for the charitable donations tax credit.  Two types of schools may be able to provide charitable donation receipts for all or a portion of fees:those which exclusively teach religion, andthose which operate in a dual capacity, providing both academic and religious education.Tuition fees may be eligible for the medical expense tax credit, (Income Tax Act s. 118.2(2)(e)).  In order to qualify, a medical practitioner must certify in writing that the equipment, facilities or personnel provided by the school are required because of the student's mental or physical impairment.  The requirement for a written certification is included in proposed legislation which is retroactive to December 21, 2002.  The Bill containing these proposed revisions, Bill C-10 from 2007, has not received Royal Assent, and thus has not been enacted.  However, the Department of Finance in 2011 indicated that this bill is not dead, and is expected to be reintroduced. See also Tax Information for Students.Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) information:IC75-23 Tuition Fees and Charitable Donations Paid to Privately Supported Secular and Religious Schools  Line 365 Federal Children's Fitness Amount Tax CreditIncome Tax Act s. 118.03, Regulations s. 9400Starting in 2007, there is a federal non-refundable tax credit available to individuals for registration and membership costs of up to $500 per child, not indexed for inflation.  The tax credit is available for prescribed programs of physical activity for their children who are, at the beginning of the taxation yearunder 16 years of age, orunder 18 for a child with a disability (i.e., when any person is able to claim a disability amount tax credit for the child on line 318 of the federal tax return) webbot bot="PurpleText" PREVIEW="Start of ad Filing Articles 160x600 txt/img ATF channel Filing Articles text -targetable 2009/11/21" webbot bot="PurpleText" PREVIEW="End of Google ad" The tax credit is calculated using the lowest tax rate of 15%, so the maximum tax credit per child for 2012/13 will be $75.An additional tax credit is available to an individual for a child with a disability.  The additional credit will be $500 x the lowest tax rate, if the total of eligible fitness costs for that child in the year is $100 or more.  This brings the maximum tax credit to $150 for a child with a disability.Example of calculation of child fitness tax credit:Total cost for prescribed programs for the child$80$100$200$300$400$500$600Child fitness tax credit @15% to maximum $75$12$15$30$45$60$75$75Additional tax credit for child with disability $500 x 15%0757575757575Total tax credit for child with disability$12$90$105$120$135$150$150The tax credit may be claimed by either spouse, or apportioned between them.A prescribed program of physical activity includes the following, which are not part of a school's curriculum:
  1. a weekly program of 8 or more consecutive weeks in which all or substantially all of the activities include a significant amount of physical activity;
  2. a program of 5 or more consecutive days, if more than 50% of the daily activities include a significant amount of physical activity;
  3. a program of 8 or more consecutive weeks, offered to children by an organization where participants in the program may select from a variety of activities if
    1. more than 50% of the activities include a significant amount of physical activity, or
    2. more than 50% of the time scheduled in the program is scheduled for activities that include a significant amount of physical activity
  4. membership in an organization for 8 or more consecutive weeks if more than 50% of the activities offered to children by the organization include a significant amount of physical activity
  5. for a program of 8 or more consecutive weeks, which does not meet the 50% requirement of (c) above, offered to children by an organization where participants in the program may select from a variety of activities, the portion
    1. that is the percentage of those activities that include a significant amount of physical activity, or
    2. that is the percentage of time scheduled in the program that is scheduled for activities that include a significant amount of physical activity
  6. for membership in an organization for 8 or more consecutive weeks, where the 50% requirement of (d) above is not met, the portion of membership that is the percentage of all the activities offered to children by the organization that are activities that include a significant amount of physical activity
  
Physical activity means a supervised activity suitable for children (other than an activity where a child rides on or in a motorized vehicle as an essential component of the activity) thatin the case of a child with a disability, results in movement and in an observable expenditure of energy in a recreational context; andin the case of any other child, contributes to cardio-respiratory endurance and to one or more of the following: muscular strength,muscular endurance,flexibility, andbalanceHorseback riding is deemed to be included in the above definition of physical activity.Any costs which qualify as child care costs must first be claimed as child care costs, with the remainder of eligible costs then claimed through the fitness credit.For more information, see the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Children's Fitness Tax Credit page, and the Children's Fitness Tax Credit video.The Federal Children's Fitness Credit is calculated by the Canadian Tax Calculator, but the amount is not checked to ensure that the maximum is not exceeded. 
Provincial fitness tax creditsSome of these tax credits are not just for children:BC Children's Fitness Tax Credit started in 2012.Manitoba Fitness Tax CreditNova Scotia Healthy Living Tax CreditOntario Children's Activity Tax Credit - RefundableSaskatchewan Active Families BenefitYukon Child Fitness CreditYukon has the same non-refundable child fitness tax credit as the federal tax credit, with the only difference being the tax rate applied.  Yukon also provides the additional tax credit for a child with a disability.webbot bot="PurpleText" PREVIEW="Start of Google ad 336x280 BTF Filing Channel Filing Articles -targetable" webbot bot="PurpleText" PREVIEW="End of Google ad"  Other Tax Credits for ChildrenSee also:Tax Information for StudentsChildren's Arts Tax Credit (CATC)Child Amount Tax Creditlinks to all information on TaxTips.ca related to persons with disabilities.Tax Tip:  Keep the receipts for your children's physical activity programs. Line 370 Federal Children's Arts Amount Tax Credit (CATC)Income Tax Act s. 118.031, Regulations s. 9401The 2011 Federal Budget introduced this non-refundable tax credit starting in 2011.  The legislation is included in Bill C-13, which received Royal Assent (became law) on December 15, 2011.This tax credit is available to individuals for registration and membership costs of up to $500 per child, for prescribed programs of artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity for their children who are, at the beginning of the taxation yearunder 16 years of age, orunder 18 for a child with a disability (i.e., when any person is able to claim a disability amount tax credit for the child on line 318 of the federal tax return)The tax credit is calculated using the lowest tax rate of 15%, so the maximum tax credit per child will be $75.An additional tax credit is available to an individual for a child with a disability.  The additional credit will be $500 x the lowest tax rate, if the total of eligible costs for that child in the year is $100 or more.  This brings the maximum tax credit to $150 for a child with a disability. webbot bot="PurpleText" PREVIEW="Start of ad Filing Articles 160x600 txt/img ATF channel Filing Articles text -targetable 2009/11/21" webbot bot="PurpleText" PREVIEW="End of Google ad" Example of calculation of children's arts tax credit:Total cost for prescribed programs for the child$80$100$200$300$400$500$600Children's arts tax credit @15% to maximum $75$12$15$30$45$60$75$75Additional tax credit for child with disability $500 x 15%0757575757575Total tax credit for child with disability$12$90$105$120$135$150$150The tax credit may be claimed by either spouse, or apportioned between them.Eligible programs include the following, which are not part of a school's curriculum:
  1. a weekly program of 8 or more consecutive weeks in which all or substantially all of the activities include a significant amount of artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity;
  2. a program of 5 or more consecutive days, if more than 50% of the daily activities include a significant amount of artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity;
  3. a program of 8 or more consecutive weeks, offered to children by an organization where participants in the program may select from a variety of activities if
    1. more than 50% of the activities include a significant amount of artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity, or
    2. more than 50% of the time scheduled in the program is scheduled for activities that include a significant amount of artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity
  4. membership in an organization for 8 or more consecutive weeks if more than 50% of the activities offered to children by the organization include a significant amount of artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity
  5. for a program of 8 or more consecutive weeks, which does not meet the 50% requirement of (c) above, offered to children by an organization where participants in the program may select from a variety of activities, the portion
    1. that is the percentage of those activities that include a significant amount of artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity, or
    2. that is the percentage of time scheduled in the program that is scheduled for activities that include a significant amount of artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity
  6. for membership in an organization for 8 or more consecutive weeks, where the 50% requirement of (d) above is not met, the portion of membership that is the percentage of all the activities offered to children by the organization that are activities that include a significant amount of artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity
  
Artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity means a supervised activity suitable for children (other than a physical activity) thatis intended to contribute to a child's ability to develop creative skills or expertise, acquire and apply knowledge, or improve dexterity or coordination, in an artistic or cultural discipline including: literary arts,visual arts,performing arts,music,media,languages,customs, andheritage;provides a substantial focus on wilderness and the natural environment;assists with the development and use of intellectual skills;includes structured interaction among children where supervisors teach or assist children to develop interpersonal skills; orprovides enrichment or tutoring in academic subjects.The cost of accommodation, travel, food or beverages are not included.Any costs which qualify as child care costs must first be claimed as child care costs, with the remainder of eligible costs then claimed through the arts credit.Any costs which qualify for the Children's Fitness tax credit cannot be claimed for the Children's Arts credit.For more information, see the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Children's Arts Tax Credit (CATC) page, and the Children's Art Tax Credit video. 
 Provincial Arts Tax CreditsBC Children's Arts Tax Credit starting in 2012.Manitoba Children's Arts and Cultural Activity Tax CreditOntario Children's Activity Tax CreditSaskatchewan Active Families BenefitYukon Child Fitness CreditYukon has the same non-refundable children's arts tax credit as the federal tax credit, with the only difference being the tax rate applied.  Yukon also provides the additional tax credit for a child with a disability.Other Tax Credits for ChildrenSee also:Tax Information for StudentsChildren's Fitness Tax CreditChild Amount Tax Creditlinks to all information on TaxTips.ca related to persons with disabilities.Tax Tip:  Keep the receipts for your children's arts and cultural activity programs.  Revised: webbot bot="TimeStamp" S-Type="EDITED"S-Format="%B %d, %Y" startspan August 27, 2013webbot bot="TimeStamp" endspan i-checksum="21918" Line 364 Public Transit Pass Tax Credit!The Federal non-refundable tax credit for public transit passes was available for 2006 for the portion of the pass that was used on or after July 1, 2006, even if the pass was purchased earlier.  For 2006, only passes of a duration of one month or longer were eligible for the public transit tax credit.webbot bot="PurpleText" PREVIEW="Start of ad Filing Articles 160x600 txt/img ATF channel Filing Articles text -targetable 2009/11/21" webbot bot="PurpleText" PREVIEW="End of Google ad" The tax credit was revised effective January 1, 2007 to expand the eligibility criteria:weekly passes will qualify for the tax credit where the taxpayer purchases them for at least 4 consecutive weeks, and the passes provide the holder with unlimited use of the public transit system for a period of 5 to 7 days.electronic payment cards will qualify for the tax credit, where the cost relates to the use of public transit for at least 32 one-way trips during an uninterrupted period not exceeding 31 days, andthat transit usage, and cost of those trips, are recorded and receipted to the purchaser by the relevant transit authority, in sufficient detail as to allow the Canada Revenue Agency to verify eligibility for the credit.The public transit pass tax credit is available for the cost of passes for commuting on buses, streetcars, subways, commuter trains and local ferries.  A taxpayer can claim the transit pass tax credit on behalf of a spouse or common-law partner, or the taxpayer's children under age 19.Your pass must provide certain information in order to support your claim for a public transit tax credit, including: duration of the passdate or period for which the pass is validname of the transit authority or organization issuing the passamount paid for the passidentity of the rider, either by name or unique identifierIf the pass does not provide all of the above information, the transit user is advised by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to retain a dated receipt, or cancelled cheques or credit card statements to support the tax credit claim.This is a Federal tax credit, and Yukon Territory also provides the same tax credit.  It is not available for any other province or territory.See also Tax Information for StudentsCRA ResourcesLine 364 - Public transit amountPublic Transit Tax Credit videoTax Tip:  Keep your public transit passes, and make sure they provide detailed information. 
 
 
 

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