The Eligible Educator School Supply Tax Credit is a refundable credit that Teachers and Early Childhood Educators may claim if they have out of pocket expenses for teaching supplies. Educators can claim a refundable credit for up to $1,000 in eligible supplies they have purchased, which could then result in up to a $150 refund on their tax return.

Key Takeaways
  1. Teachers or Early Childhood Educators may qualify for a tax credit that’s just for you.
  2. Supplies bought for your classroom may be claimed to boost your refund (or light your balance due).
  3. Hold onto your receipts, even when you’re out shopping in the summer months.

What is an Eligible Educator?

The CRA requires an eligible educator to be employed in Canada at any time during the tax year and meet both the following conditions:

  • You were a teacher at an elementary or secondary school or an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) at a regulated child care facility.
  • You held a teaching certificate, license, permit or diploma, or an ECE certificate or diploma, which was valid and recognized in the province or territory in which you were employed.

What are Eligible Expenses?

To qualify for the school supply credit, the expense must be:

  • Incurred by a teacher or ECE and used directly in the school or childcare facility.
  • Not reimbursed by anyone else. For example, your school has a supply fund that reimburses you for the supplies when you hand in a receipt.
  • Not claimed as a deduction elsewhere. For example, if you operate an in-home daycare and purchase $1,000 worth of art supplies for your center, you cannot claim that same expense in your business and claim the school supply tax credit.

Eligible supplies include:

  • Basics such as construction paper, markers, etc.
  • Puzzles
  • Books
  • Educational software
  • Materials used in science class such as potting soil/seeds or volcano-building supplies (vinegar/baking soda)
  • Containers such as plastic bins or Bankers boxes

Computers and tablets do not qualify, nor do furnishings or similar durable goods. For example, a rug purchased for your classroom is not eligible for this credit as it is used repeatedly and is considered long-lasting.

Provincial Credits

Currently, both Prince Edward Island and Manitoba offer a provincial school supply credit. only one province has a provincial school supply credit. 

  • Those residing in Prince Edward Island can claim the PEI Teacher School Supply Amount. Although this provincial amount is a Non-Refundable Tax Credit and capped at $500, the qualifications are very similar.
  • Those residing in Manitoba can claim up to $1,000 with the Teaching expense tax credit. Learn more about this tax credit from the CRA’s website here

Claiming the Credit

The Teacher and Early Childhood Educator School Supply Tax Credit is claimed on Lines 46800 and 46900 of your Income Tax and Benefit Return.

Although it is not necessary to include receipts for eligible supplies with your tax return, as with other expenses, CRA may request the supporting documentation in the future. Along with receipts, you may also be asked to provide certification from your employer attesting the expense.

It’s important to note that supplies purchased in advance may qualify. The purchase date, rather than the date when the supplies are used, is the basis for this credit.

References & Resources

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