Harper Government providing Canadian families with back-to-school tax relief

August 27, 2013

Earl Dreeshen, Member of Parliament for Red Deer, today reminded students returning to school to take full advantage of the important financial relief available to them. In 2012, students and their families claimed more than $11 billion in financial assistance.

“Our Government is committed to supporting Canadian families by keeping taxes low. We are pleased to help students and their families with tax breaks to help them stretch their dollars further as they gear up for the return to school,” said Dreeshen. “As MP for Red Deer, I am proud to say that the investment our Government is making in Canadians who study hard to obtain a post-secondary education will also help maintain Canada’s edge in the global marketplace.”

Several programs offer tax relief to students who enrol in post-secondary education:

  • Students can claim tuition fees paid to a university, college, or other educational institution in Canada for courses taken at the post-secondary level. Tuition fees paid for courses certified by Employment and Social Development Canada to develop or improve skills in an occupation also qualifies.
  • Students can claim an education amount of $400 for each whole or part month in the year in which they are enrolled full-time in a qualifying educational program, or $120 per month for part-time enrolment in a specified educational program, at a designated educational institution.
  • Students can claim a textbook amount of $65 for each month where they qualify for the full-time education amount or $20 for each part-time month.

“Our Government wants to make sure students take advantage of all the tax relief measures that are eligible for them so they can keep their hard-earned dollars. They should keep their receipts in order to claim tax credits when filing their return during tax season and take advantage of the important financial relief available to them all year long,” said Dreeshen.

In addition to these tax credits mentioned above, students may be eligible for the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit – a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with low or modest incomes offset all or part of the GST or HST that they pay. They may also claim a deduction for their moving expenses if they moved to study as a full-time student enrolled in a post-secondary program at a university, a college, or another educational institution.

Students may be able to claim amounts for interest paid on their student loans and they may also be eligible to claim the public transit tax credit for the cost of their public transit passes for travel within Canada on public transit.

For more information on tax credits and benefits for students, and other information specifically for students, go to www.cra.gc.ca/students on the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) Web site.

The CRA encourages Canadians to take advantage of its safe, secure, and convenient electronic services to file their returns. In most cases, with direct deposit, individuals can receive their refund in as little as eight business days, compared to four to six weeks for a paper return.