Back to School is always a busy time of year.  As our kids are heading in to the school year there are a few things to consider for tax purposes.

Private school fees for elementary and secondary:

Generally, the cost of tuition for private school for elementary and secondary school students is not tax deductible. However a portion of the private school tuition fees, if it relates to child care services, may qualify as child care costs.

There are special circumstances in which all or a portion of the fees paid to a private school may be considered a donation, and qualify for the charitable donations tax credit.  Two types of schools may be able to provide charitable donation receipts for all or a portion of fees:

  • Religious teachings only
  • Dual capacity operations, meaning both academic and religious education.

Post secondary:

If your child is a full-time or part-time student, they can claim an amount for tuition and textbooks while enrolled at a qualifying college or university. If the student doesn’t have enough income to claim the full tuition amount, the unused tuition amount can be transferred or carried forward to a future year.

The student will need to use a form provided by the institution called a T2202A. These forms can generally be found online. The student will need to file their income taxes first to utilize what they need against their income before considering transferring to a parent, grandparent or spouse or common-law partner. The student can also carry forward the unused tuition to future taxation years.

A student can transfer up to $5,000 of the tax credit, less the amount used to reduce tax owing.

Moving Expenses for post secondary students:

Full-time students moving at least 40 kilometers closer to a post-secondary program at a university, college or other educations institution can claim a tax deduction for eligible moving expenses. You can only get this deduction by applying it against the tax you’re required to pay on scholarships, bursaries, fellowships, prizes and research grants.

If you qualify for the deduction, use form T1-M in the taxation year of the move.

Your eligible expenses may include hiring movers, vehicle expenses, meals and accommodation

After post secondary don’t forget your student loan interest. You may be eligible to claim an amount for the interest paid if it was received under the following:

  • Canada Student Loans Act
  • Canada Student Financial Assistance Act
  • Apprentice Act
  • Provincial or territorial acts related to the above.

If you have no tax payable for the year the interest is paid, it can be carried forwarded and applied in the next 5 years.