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Tuition tax credit

Lydia Rancourt | 18 August, 2021

            Crédit d'impôt pour les frais de scolarité

The tuition tax credit is a non-refundable tax credit that exists both federally and in Quebec. You can claim a non-refundable tax credit for your tuition or examination fees paid for all tax years after 1996, if they have never been used.

Generally, a course taken at an educational institution in Canada would qualify for a tuition tax credit if the following conditions are met:

  • If the person enrolled in the course is aged 16 or over at the end of the year and if the course was aimed at acquiring or improving their professional skills and the educational institution was recognized by the Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada.
  • If the course was given in a post-secondary educational institution.

You can also consult this link for more information.

Eligible tuition fees

Tuition fees that can be used to calculate the tax credit include:

  • admission, application and confirmation of admission fees paid to an educational institution;
  • examination fees paid to a recognized educational institution for a course taken
  • fees for the use of library or laboratory facilities
  • the cost of issuing a certificate or diploma
  • course fees
  • tuition fees
  • seminar participation fees
  • the cost of books included in the fees paid for a correspondence course or for distance learning.

Ineligible tuition fees

However, some tuition or examination fees are not eligible. These include the following costs in particular:

  • the cost of board, lodging and books
  • travel and parking costs
  • dues to a student association
  • tuition or examination fees paid for a year spent entirely outside Canada

You can also consult this link for more information.

How to claim the credit

To claim tuition fees, you must have received a form from your educational institution. This form will show the amount of eligible tuition you paid for that year. To be eligible, the fees you paid to attend each educational institution must exceed $100.

You cannot claim the amount shown for your tuition if any of the following conditions apply:

  • your employer or the employer of one of your parents has paid or reimbursed the costs and an amount corresponding to this has not been included in your income or that parent's income
  • the fees were paid under a federal, provincial or territorial vocational training program, and an amount corresponding to this was not included in your income

Tuition fees transferred from a child

A student could transfer part or all of his tuition tax credit that relates to fees paid for the tax year to his father, mother, grandparents or one of the parents or grandparents of his spouse.

To note that :

  • A student cannot transfer part or all of their tuition tax credit to their spouse.
  • A student cannot transfer to you the part of their tax credit that relates to tuition or examination fees paid for past years

You can also consult this link in order to have more information on the transfer of tuition fees.

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