Back to School – Tax Tips for University Students

The tax credits for tuition, education amounts and textbooks are non-refundable tax credits.  There is a Federal tax credit as well as a provincial or territorial tax credit for tuition, education and textbook amounts.


In general the following qualify for the tuition tax credit:

bullet Tuition fees, if they total more than $100, for courses at a post-secondary school level paid to a university, college, or other educational institution in Canada
bullet Tuition fees, if they total more than $100, for courses to provide a student who is at least 16 years old at the end of the taxation year with skills for (or improve the student’s skills in) an occupation, paid to an educational institution in Canada certified by the Minister of Human Resources Development (see Master List of Designated Educational Institutions on Canlearn.ca website)
bullet Tuition fees for a student in full-time attendance at a university outside Canada for a course, of at least 13 consecutive weeks in duration, leading to a degree
bullet Tuition fees, if they total more than $100, for courses at a post-secondary school level paid to a university, college or other educational institution in the United States to which a student living near the Canada-United States border commutes

To claim the tax credit for tuition fees, you must have received from the educational institution either an official tax receipt or a completed form T2202A, Tuition, Education and Textbook Amounts Certificate.  If you paid less than $100 for the year to any particular educational institution, that amount is not claimable.  Otherwise, the total tuition fees paid in the year are claimable.  This could also include the cost of courses and seminars related to your work.  The costs of books, room and board, or student association fees cannot  be claimed.  If the fees were paid by your employer or the employer of one of your parents, then the costs are not deductible unless the reimbursed amount is included in your income or your parent’s income.  Private school tuition fees for elementary and secondary students are generally not tax deductible.  See our private school tuition fees article.

If you were taking courses as a requirement of your employment, and your employer has provided you with a form T2200, Declaration of Conditions of Employment indicating this requirement, then the cost can be claimed as an employment expense, instead of as a tuition tax credit.

The education amount tax credit can be claimed for each whole or part month in which you were enrolled in a qualifying program at a designated educational institution.  The educational institution must provide either a T2202 Education and Textbook Amounts Certificate, or a T2202A Tuition, Education and Textbook Amounts Certificate.  The certificate will show the number of months you were enrolled in a qualifying educational program or a specified educational program.  The amount that can be claimed is $465 per month for full time enrollment, or $140 per month for part time enrollment.

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