Teachers and early childhood educators may claim a credit of up to $1,000 if they have out of pocket expenses for teaching supplies. After the 15% tax rate is applied, this refundable credit results in up to a $150 refund if you qualify.
To qualify for the school supply credit, the expense must be
- incurred by a teacher or early childhood educator and directly used in a school or regulated childcare facility
- no reimbursement has been made to you for the supplies
- not used as a deduction elsewhere. For example, if you own an in-home daycare and purchase $1,000 worth of art supplies for your center, you cannot use that expense as a business expense and claim the school supply tax credit
Along with the basics such as construction paper, markers, etc. eligible teaching supplies include puzzles, books, and educational software. Materials used in science class such as potting soil and seeds or volcano-building supplies such as vinegar and baking soda are also considered teaching supplies for this credit.
With the exception of storage items such as plastic bins or bankers boxes, most durable goods are considered ineligible for this credit. Computers and tablets do not qualify. Similarly, if you purchase a rug for your classroom, the expense is not eligible for this credit as it is used repeatedly and is considered long-lasting.
Do You Qualify?
If you are a teacher and hold a valid teaching certificate from your province of residence, you are considered an eligible teacher. Similarly, if you are employed by an early childhood education facility and hold a recognized certificate or diploma for early childhood education recognized in your province, you are considered to be eligible for this credit.
Teachers and early childhood educators residing in Prince Edward Island have enjoyed a school supply credit for a number of years. Although this provincial amount is non-refundable and capped at $500, the qualifications are very similar. Currently, PEI is the only province with a provincial school supply credit.
Claiming the Credit
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.