Earning a degree from a top school can cost you a pretty penny (or shall we say, nickel?). Fortunately, the federal government provides a tax credit for students based on the Schedule 11. Here’s a quick lesson on the significance of the form, its eligibility requirements, and how to fill it out accurately when you file your tax return.

Key Takeaways
  1. The Schedule 11 tax form helps students calculate their federal tax credit based on the tuition and education amounts they paid. 
  2. Be sure to have your T2202 receipt handy to claim the amount of your tuition fees.
  3. You can carry forward unused federal tuition amounts to a future year. This can lower the taxes payable when you land your first full-time job.

What is the Schedule 11 tax form?

The Schedule 11 assists students in calculating their student tax credits on their federal tax return. It helps them determine tuition, education, and textbook amounts; the amount they can transfer to a family member; and any unused portion they may be able to carry forward to a future year.

You can fill out the Schedule 11 providing that, at some point within the tax year, you’re a:

  • Student in a registered Canadian educational institution
  • Canadian student studying abroad
  • Student at a flying school or club

Is Schedule 11 the same as Form T2202? 

While these forms are different, you need them both to determine your tuition tax credit. The T2202 – Tuition and Enrolment Certificate is the official receipt that shows the tuition fees that are eligible to be claimed on your tax return. It will be issued to you from your educational institution.

The Schedule 11 – Federal Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts and Canada Training Credit form helps you calculate your tuition tax credit. Simply put, the T2202 is used to fill in the Schedule 11 to calculate the tuition tax credits available.

What do I do with my T2202 tax form?

When you file your taxes, you will be required to enter the information from your T2202 receipt to confirm your eligibility for your tuition tax credit . If you’re using TurboTax, check out this quick how-to video on filling out the T2202 form.

How do I fill out the Schedule 11 tax form? 

Now for the fun part—figuring out how much your tax credit will be! Here’s a quick overview of how the information you provide is used to complete each section of the Schedule 11:

  • Line 1 – Enter the amount of any unused federal tuition, education, and textbook amounts from previous years (if any). You can find this amount in your Notice of Assessment (NOA).
  • Line 2 (field 32000) – Input the eligible tuition fees you paid, which will be listed on your T2202 tax certificate.
  • Line 11 – Enter the amount from line 26000 of your return if it’s less than $50,197. If it’s more, then take the amount from line 73 of your return and divide it by 15%. 
  • Line 17 – This is the total tuition, education, and textbook amounts for the tax year. Be sure to add this amount to line 32000 on your tax return.
  • Lines 18 to 25 – If you would like to transfer an amount to a family member, then complete lines 18 to 25. If you prefer to carry forward any unused amounts to a future year, then you need only to fill out lines 18, 19, 20, and 25.

Do I have to claim my tuition fees on my tax return?

Yes! It’s important to fill out the Schedule 11 even if you don’t owe any tax, so that the CRA has updated records. Plus, this tax credit helps to offset any federal tax payable.

What’s more, for students who don’t have income yet, they need to register their tuition fees in the tax year incurred so that the amount carried forward will be available to help them in the future.

Basically, if you want to take advantage of the tax credit (students deserve some credit, right?) for the tuition and education amounts you paid, then it’s essential that you submit the Schedule 11.

What about the education and textbook amounts? 

In 2017, the federal education and textbook amounts were eliminated. However, your individual province might still have a tax credit for you.

Each province and territory has its own S11 schedule. For example, Ontario’s is ON(S11), whereas Québec uses the Schedule T. If you moved from one province to another, please consult the CRA here to know which tax package to use.

Should I transfer or carry forward any unused amounts?

A common strategy for students is to carry forward the unused amount to a future year. This will come in handy—especially when you start making bank (and will want to reduce your tax bill)!

Alternatively, you have the option to transfer the unused federal tuition and education amounts to a family member—if it will help to optimize their taxes (sharing is caring!). However, be sure to transfer only what is available, or the maximum of $5,000, if you can and it makes sense. Any surplus you may have for yourself can then be carried forward to a future year.

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