If you or your child is enrolled in university or college, tuition tax credits are a way to help to alleviate the high costs of tuition.
Federally, there are tuition tax credits that you might be eligible for, but there are also additional tuition or education tax credits for many of our provinces. For more on the Federal tuition tax credits, read our article here.
Tuition tax credits in Alberta have allowed many students to make the most of their money spent on education tuition. While there is a limit to how much tuition can be claimed for the tuition tax credit, tuition amount transfers are a lesser-known but highly valuable way to maximize tuition tax credits in Alberta.
With the 2020 budget for Alberta, many students will see a decrease in the ability to claim tuition tax credits in Alberta for this coming year. That said, all years previous to 2020 will be eligible for tuition tax credits in Alberta, if the student meets the qualifications.
How to Qualify
There are a number of qualifiers that students must fulfill in order to qualify for tuition tax credits (don’t worry, most students are eligible).
- Full-time or part-time student
- Fee is at least $100 paid to a qualifying institution
- The student is 17 years of age or older
Enrolled at A Qualifying College or University
There are a few other factors that determine if tuition tax credits will be awarded based on the qualifying university, especially when students are studying abroad. Most commonly, Canadian students who qualify for tuition tax credits attend a university, college, or other educational institution in Canada for post-secondary courses.
Professionals will also have the opportunity to be a part-time student as part of their career advancement. In this case, the educational institution in Canada would need to be certified by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada as a course (or courses) to acquire or improve work skills.
When Does Tuition Not Qualify?
Generally, a part-time or full-time student would not qualify for tuition tax credits if:
- Tuition is paid or reimbursed by the student’s employer
- The tuition is paid and courses are attended as part of a job training program
- Post-secondary education is a federal program to help athletes.
Claiming Tuition for Tax Credits in Alberta
Obtain your T2202 tax slip from the college or university. This form is necessary when filing your tax return, especially when a student it looking to submit a claim for tuition tax credits in Alberta. This form will allow the student to claim a federal and provincial tax credit for the amount of tuition stated on the T2202 tax slip.
In order to complete the claim for tuition, the student must file their income taxes using federal Schedule 11 as well has for AB (S11).
Transferring Tuition Amounts
While a student can claim tuition tax credits on their own taxes for the year, there is also the opportunity to transfer all or part of the unused tuition and education amounts to a parent, grandparent, spouse or common-law partner.
Here are the steps to transferring tuition for tax credits in Alberta:
- Determine the amount to be transferred. This cannot be more than $5,000 and cannot be tuition that the student him/herself has claimed.
- Ensure the student has entered this transferred amount on line 20 of their Schedule AB(S11), a form that can be accessed here.
- Enter on line 58600 the total of all provincial amounts that each student has transferred to you as shown on their Form T2202, TL11A, or TL11C.
- Retain supporting documents in case more documentation is needed when you tax claim is reviewed by the CRA.
Carrying Forward Tuition Amounts
While Alberta’s 2020 budget has moved to eliminate education and tuition tax credits, if tuition credits still remain from a year prior to the elimination of the credit, they can most likely be used in carry-forward situations. Even if the provincial tax credit is eliminated, it currently remains in place as a federal non-refundable tax credit.
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