Claiming Tuition and Other Educational Expenses

Tuition, examination fees and other education-related expenses may be claimed as tax deductions. You need a slip from a designated educational institution that has the total eligible tuition fees paid as well as the months when the student was enrolled either part time or full time. The number of months of attendance is used to determine additional credits over and above the actual tuition amount.

Designated Educational Institutions

Designated educational institutions include Canadian universities, colleges and other educational institutions providing courses at a post-secondary school level. They also include Canadian educational institutions certified by Employment and Social Development Canada that provide courses that develop or improve skills in an occupation, other than courses designed for university credit.

A designated educational institution may be a university outside Canada where the student is enrolled in a course that lasts at least three consecutive weeks and leads to a degree at the bachelor level or higher, as well as universities, colleges or other educational institutions in the United States that give courses at the post-secondary level if the student is living in Canada (near the border) throughout the year and commutes to that institution.

Full-Time Enrolment

Students are ordinarily accepted as being in full-time enrolment if the university regards them as such. A student is considered a full-time student when he/she regularly attends a college, university or other educational institution that offers courses at a post-secondary school level and the student takes, during a semester, 60 percent or more (typically four or more full courses) of the usual course load for the qualifying educational program in which the student is enrolled.

Part-Time Enrolment

A student is considered to be a part-time student if he/she is enrolled in a specified educational program, takes only a few subjects or evening classes, or takes courses only by correspondence. A part-time student may attend classes during the day but carries a minor course load while devoting the majority of his time to other activities, such as employment.

Education and Textbook Amounts

Please note that the Federal Education and Textbook Amounts were eliminated in 2017 and are no longer available. The information presented here is for individuals preparing tax returns for 2016 and earlier.

For those filing returns for years prior to the elimination of the credit, you may also be entitled to an additional tax credits. The Education Amount credit is a set amount per month of study. Full-time students receive $400 per month while part-time students receive $120 per month. If the costs for your education were reimbursed or you were given certain training allowances, special rules apply for claiming the Education Amount. Similarly, full-time and part-time attendees may also claim a monthly allotment for textbooks. The proper number of months for calculating both of these credits can be found on the tax certificate issued by your school.

Licensing Examination Fees

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