Students and tax

3 non-refundable tax credits

1. Tuition, education and textbook amounts

You can claim 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 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.
  • 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.

You can claim tuition and education amounts if you study abroad full-time for at least 3 weeks. Learn more about Education Tax Measures – Study Abroad.

If you don’t use your tax 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 the tuition, education and textbook amounts.

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 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, even if it is to finance your education. 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.

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.

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

You can transfer unused education, tuition and textbook 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, education and textbook credits
  • interest on student loans credit
  • public transit amount
  • moving expenses
Last updated