Taxes 101: Students earn “extra credits” this term!
Did you know?
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has tax credits, deductions, and benefits to help students. Make sure you claim those you are eligible for when you file your income tax and benefit return. Even if you have little or no income, you should still file your income tax return to claim eligible credits and benefits.
Want to learn more about the benefits of filing a tax return? Check out our two videos designed to help you put cash back in your pocket this filing season: Filing your Tax Return and Filing by Yourself.
Here are the top savings for students at tax time:
- Eligible tuition fees – You can claim the tuition fees paid to attend your post-secondary educational institution for the tax year in question. You may be able to transfer the unused amount to a parent, grandparent, or to the parent or grandparent of your spouse or common-law partner.
- Education amount – As a full-time student (or a part-time student who has a certified mental or physical impairment), you can claim $400 for each month you were enrolled in a qualified educational program in a designated educational institution. As a part-time student, you can claim $120 for each month you were enrolled. You may be able to transfer the unused amount to a parent, grandparent, or to the parent or grandparent of your spouse or common-law partner.
- Textbook amount – Claim this amount only if you are entitled to claim the education amount. You can claim:
- $65 for each month you qualify for the full-time education amount
- $20 for each month you qualify for the part-time education amount
You may be able to transfer the unused amount to a parent, grandparent, or to the parent or grandparent of your spouse or common-law partner.
- Interest paid on your student loans – You may be able to claim an amount for the interest paid in 2015 on your student loan for post-secondary education after your education is completed. You can also claim interest paid over the last five years if you haven’t already claimed it. But it has to be interest paid on a loan received under the Canada Student Loans Act, the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act, the Canada Apprentice Loans Act, or a similar provincial or territorial government law.
- Public transit amount – You can claim the cost of monthly public transit passes or passes of longer duration such as an annual pass for travel within Canada on public transit for 2015. Keep your transit passes for local buses, streetcars, subways, commuter trains or buses, and local ferries in case we ask to see them at a later date.
- Eligible moving expenses – If you moved for your post-secondary studies and are a full-time student, you may be able to claim moving expenses. You can deduct these expenses only from the part of your scholarships, fellowships, bursaries, certain prizes, and research grants that has to be included in your income. If you moved to work, including for a summer job, or to run a business, you can also claim your moving expenses. However, you can deduct these expenses only from the income you earned at the new work location. To qualify, your new place of residence must be at least 40 kilometres closer to your new school or work location.
- Goods and services/Harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit – If you are turning 19 before April 1, 2017, you may be eligible for the GST/HST credit. The CRA will determine your eligibility when you file your 2015 income tax and benefit return and will send you a notice of determination if you are eligible for the credit.
- Child care expenses – If you pay someone to look after your child while you go to school, you may be able to deduct child care expenses.
If you had a summer job or worked during the school year, your employer is required to provide you with a T4 slip. Make sure to collect all your T4 slips before filing to avoid any adjustment or delay to your benefit and credit payments.
For information on carrying forward or transferring amounts, and to check out the CRA’s videos for students, go to www.cra.gc.ca/youth.
Need a hand to prepare your tax return?
- If you have modest income and a simple tax situation, volunteers from the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) may be able to prepare and file your tax return for you. For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer.
- You can authorize a parent or another person to represent you by using the Authorize my representative service in My Account. Your representative will have instant access to your information and the online services to easily manage your account.
The CRA’s online services make filing and managing your taxes easier
The CRA's online services are fast, easy, and secure. You can use them to help file your income tax and benefit return, make a payment, track the status of your return, register for online mail, apply for child benefits, and more. Access the CRA’s full suite of self-service options - register for My Account at www.cra.gc.ca/myaccount today, and start managing your tax matters online!
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