Tuition Tax Credit

If you paid tuition in 2021 for a post-secondary institution in Canada, you might qualify for a tuition tax credit. Our team of accountants can help you determine if you are eligible and how it will impact your return. 

Here’s the breakdown:

If the student went to a post-secondary school in Canada in 2021, the student is over the age of 16, and you paid tuition fees for the student (yourself, your child, a family member) without being reimbursed, you may be eligible to claim the tuition for a tax credit on your return. 

This could be beneficial to you for reducing the amount of tax you owe, provide you with amounts to carry forward for a future year, or transfer the credit to a spouse or common-law partner. 

Be sure to ask your accountant at tax time about this tax credit, and let us know about any tuition that was paid by you during 2021. We can help you best decide how using this tax credit will be most beneficial to you and your return. 

The extended article from CRA is here: Eligible Tuition Fees

Eligible tuition fees

Generally, a course taken in 2021 at an institution in Canada will qualify for a tuition tax credit if it was either:

  • taken at a post-secondary education institution
  • for individuals 16 years of age or older at the end of the year, who are developing or improving skills in an occupation and the educational institution has been certified by the Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada

Fees paid by an individual to a post-secondary educational institution in Canada (that provides courses at a post-secondary level) or, fees paid by a deemed resident of Canada, to a post-secondary educational institution outside Canada (that provides courses at a post-secondary level), for courses that are not at the post-secondary school level are eligible for the tuition tax credit if the following conditions are met:

  • the individual is 16 years of age or older before the end of the year
  • the individual is enrolled in the educational institution to obtain skills for, or improve their skills in, an occupation

If an individual is a qualifying student who receives a scholarship for an occupational skills course, the individual may be eligible to claim a scholarship exemption.

The official tax receipt or form you received from your educational institution will indicate the amount of eligible tuition fees that you paid for that calendar year. To qualify, the fees you paid to attend each educational institution must be more than $100. For example, if you attended two educational institutions in the year, the amount on each of your tax certificates must be more than $100.

You cannot claim the tuition amount on your tax certificate if any of the following applies to you:

  • the fees were paid or reimbursed by your employer, or an employer of one of your parents, where the amount is not included in your or your parent’s income
  • the fees were paid by a federal, provincial, or territorial job training program, where the amount is not included in your income
  • the fees were paid (or eligible to be paid) under a federal program to help athletes, where the payment or reimbursement has not been included in your income

For more information, see Amounts which cannot be claimed as tuition fees.

Examination fees for licensing or certification

Examination fees paid to an educational institution, professional association, provincial ministry or other similar institution, to take an occupational, trade or professional examination that is required to obtain a professional status recognized by federal or provincial statute, or to be licensed or certified as a tradesperson, to allow you to practice the profession or trade in Canada, may be eligible for the tuition tax credit.

Ancillary fees or charges exceeding $250 and paid in respect of an occupational, trade, or professional examination are not eligible tuition fees unless they are required to be paid by all individuals taking the examination.

You should be provided with a receipt to substantiate your eligible exam fees. To view the information that should be contained in the receipt go to example of a receipt for licensing examination fee.

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