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

London, Ontario, August 27, 2013… The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, and Susan Truppe, Member of Parliament for London North Centre, 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 will continue to offer tax relief measures to Canadians who are studying to get a post-secondary education,” said Minister Findlay. “Students and their families are faced with significant costs for tuition and enrolment in post-secondary educational programs. At the same time, post-secondary education is increasingly important in a global marketplace and a significant contributor to Canada’s economic growth and global competitiveness.”

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 qualify.
  • 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 ensure students take advantage of all the tax credits they are eligible for and keep their hard-earned dollars,” said Mrs. Truppe. “At this time of the year, with students going back to school, it is important to remind them to 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.”

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.