Claim Tax Credits on Student Loans and Expenses
Many student expenses are eligible for tax credits. Find out what expenses are claimable and restrictions that may apply to save on tuition costs.
Non-refundable taxTax A fee the government charges on income, property, and sales. The money goes to finance government programs and other costs.+ read full definition credits reduce how much tax you may owe at tax time. This can help you reduce your tax bill and have a little extra to put towards saving or investing instead. As a post-secondary student, you may be eligible for specific tax credits.
3 non-refundable tax-credits
1. Tuition amount
You can claim tax credits for:
- tuition fees – for each post-secondary course that costs more than $100.
- examination fees – to take a required professional exam to obtain a recognized professional designationDesignation A title that tells you that a person has qualified to work as a financial planner. For example, an advisor may get the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) credential based on their education, experience, exams and ethics.+ read full definition or a license or certification to practice a profession or tradeTrade The process where one person or party buys an investment from another.+ read full definition in Canada.
Learn more about eligible tuition fees.
You cannot claim tax credits if tuition fees were:
- Paid or reimbursed by your employer, or an employer of one of your parents.
- Paid by a federal, provincial, or territorial job training program.
- Paid (or eligible to be paid) by a federal program to help athletes.
Unused tax credits:
If you don’t use your tax credits, you can transfer credits up to $5,000 of the current year’s federal tuition amount to your:
- parent or grandparent
- spouse or common-law partner
- spouse’s or common-law partner’s parent or grandparent
Before you can transfer the credits, you must apply them to your own tax return and reduce the tax you owe to zero. Even if you have no tax to pay, file a Schedule 11 so the CRA can update its records with your unused amounts available to carry forward to other years.
Transferring your unused credits also involves Ontario residency requirements.
Learn more about transfer credits and carrying forward the amount.
2. Interest on student loans
You may be eligible to claim an amount for the interest paid on your student loan in the previous five years, if you received the loanLoan An agreement to borrow money for a set period of time. You agree to pay back the full amount, plus interest, by a set date.+ read full definition under:
- The Canada Student Loans Act
- The Canada Student Financial Assistance Act
- The Apprentice Loans Act
- Provincial or territorial government laws similar to the above
You can’t claim interest paid on any other kind of loan (for example, a line of creditLine of credit An account that you set up with a financial institution (often a bank) to borrow money. It lets you borrow what you need, when you need it, up to a certain limit.+ read full definition), even if it is to finance your education.
You also cannot claim interest paid on a student loan that has been combined with another kind of loan, or if it has been renegotiated with a bank or financial institution.
3. Moving expenses deduction
You may be able to claim moving expenses to attend full-time post-secondary studies if you:
- you moved to study courses as a full-time student enrolled in
a post-secondary program at a university, a college, or other educational institution, and
- moved at least 40 km closer to the university, college, or educational institution.
Understanding Tax Forms
What is the T2202 form?
- The T2202 tax form is used to file for tax credits for paying tuition. It is filed alongside your other tax returns.
- To file a T2202 tax form, you must have a valid 15-character program number (RZ) provided by the designated educational institution.
What is a T4A form?
- The T4A tax form is used to report income that you received from sources other than employment.
- You will receive a T4A from a designated educational institution if you received:
- donor awards
- graduate research assistantships
For more information read the federal tuition, education, and textbook income tax package.
Find out if you qualify for a tax deductionTax deduction A cost that you can deduct from your income when you file your taxes. This lowers the tax that you owe. For example, if you contribute $5,000 to your RRSP, you can deduct $5,000 from your income when you file your taxes.+ read full definition on your:
- tuition amount
- interest on student loans credit
- moving expenses