Students and tax

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 designation or a license or certification to practice a profession or trade in Canada.

Learn more about eligible tuition fees.

If you don’t use your 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, you can:

  • transfer credits – up to $5,000 to a supporting parent, grandparent or spouse. Before you can transfer the credits, you must apply them to your own tax return and reduce the tax you owe to zero.
  • carry forward credits indefinitely – but you have to claim the carry-forward amount in the first year that you have to pay tax.

If your spouse or common-law partner qualifies for certain tax credits, but doesn’t need the whole amount to reduce the tax they owe to zero, you may be able to claim all or part of their unused credits.

Learn more about transfer credits and carrying forward the amount.

Education and textbook tax credits

The education and textbook tax credits, eliminated in 2017, can still be claimed for unused amounts carried forward from years prior to 2017. The amounts of these credits were:

  • education amount – full-time students: $400 for each whole or part month that you were enrolled; part-time students: $120 a month.
  • textbooks – full-time students: $65 a month. Part-time students: $20 a month. You can only claim the textbook amount if you’re eligible for the education amount.

2. Interest on student loans

You can only claim interest on student loans made to you under the Canada Student Loans Act, the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act, or similar provincial or territorial government laws. You can’t claim interest paid on any other kind of loan, even if it is to finance your education. Example: a line of credit.

If you don’t use the credit for interest on student loans, you can carry it forward for 5 years. You can’t transfer it to anyone else, even if they paid the interest on the loan for you.

3. Public transit amount

You can claim for the full amount you paid for a public transit pass during the year. The public transit amount covers monthly or annual passes for unlimited travel within Canada on local buses, streetcars, subways, commuter trains or buses, and local ferries. You can’t claim day passes, tokens or tickets. You can only claim a monthly or annual transit pass.

The 2017 federal budgetBudget A monthly or yearly estimated plan for spending and saving. You work it out based on your income and expenses.+ read full definition proposed to eliminate the public transit tax credit after June 2017. For the 2017 tax year, you can only claim the credit for eligible amounts until June 30, 2017 .

Keep your receipts and expired passes as proof of your claim.

You can transfer unused education and tuition credits to a supporting parent, grandparent or spouse. But you must apply the credits to your own tax return first.

Moving expenses deduction

You may be able to claim moving expenses to attend full-time post-secondary studies if you:

  • move at least 40 km closer to the school, and
  • receive scholarships or bursaries that were included in your income.
Using your RRSPRRSP See Registered Retirement Savings Plan.+ read full definition to fund your education

You can withdraw money tax free from your RRSP to pay for your training or education costs under the Lifelong Learning Plan. You can also pay for the education of your spouse or common-law partner under this plan. But you can’t use the money for your children’s education. You must repay the amounts you withdraw over a period of up to 10 years.

Take action

Find out if you qualify for:

  • tuition amount
  • education and textbook credits (prior to 2017)
  • interest on student loans credit
  • public transit amount (prior to July 1, 2017)
  • moving expenses
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