Tax time can be a stressful time for most individuals, especially for those who are balancing post-secondary education with other responsibilities, but tax time for students can also bring some good news! The Nova Scotia government offers tuition tax credits for qualifying post-secondary students, so be sure to save your T2202A!
Eligibility for Students in Nova Scotia
Students that officially a resident of the province of Nova Scotia are potentially eligible for tuition tax credits that are highly influential to the amount of tax owed over the year. Eligibility for both federal and provincial tuition tax credits is based on the following:
- 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 educational institution in Canada or abroad
○ Canadian institution
○ US institution to which the Canadian commutes over the border
○ International institution
Claiming Education Amounts and Tuition Tax Credits in Nova Scotia
Before you dive into filing your taxes, be sure to collect all the documentation needed in order to accurately claim your income and amount of tuition paid to your post-secondary institution. For proof of tuition paid, be sure to download and save a hard copy of your T2202A, which is an official receipt stating the amount of money paid for tuition. Other official receipt forms can include forms TL11A, TL11C, or other official tuition tax receipts.
Once you’ve collected all your T4s and documents, start by filling out a 5003-S11 Schedule NS(S11).
When filing your own personal income tax in Nova Scotia, here’s what you need to know in order to properly claim your education amounts and tuition for tax credits in Nova Scotia.
- If you are enrolled part-time and do not have a mental or physical impairment, fill out the form with the total of the tuition fees to be paid over the tax year, plus an additional $60 for each month that you will be enrolled part-time.
- If you are enrolled full time, or if you have a mental or physical impairment and are enrolled part-time. In this case, enter the total of the tuition fees you will pay for the applicable tax year, plus an additional $200 for each month that you will be enrolled.
Transferring Tuition Amounts
For many students, tuition is high enough that the tuition fees paid over the course of the year could exceed the federal and provincial limits for that year’s personal income tax claim. Both governments acknowledge this possibility and have developed a program that allows students to make the most of their tuition paid by transferring to another individual.
The transfer limit for tuition fees is $5,000. This transfer limit allows students to make the most of their tuition amounts by transferring their tuition to a qualified recipient so that their tax return will include a tuition tax credit as well.
Tuition fees can be transferred to the student’s parent/primary caregiver, grandparent, spouse or common-law partner, as well as a spouse or common-law partner’s parent or grandparent in order to make the most of the program.
Carrying Forward Unused Amounts
In some cases, even after claiming the maximum personal transfer fees and transferring tuition fees to another eligible individual, there may still be some tuition remaining. In this case, it is possible to carry over the leftover tuition fee amount to the following year where the limit may not be met.
In fact, this program is a great method for many students to use this carry-over amount to bridge the gap in personal income tax changes once the student graduates, enters the professional world and starts filing income taxes for a tax return as a full-time employee, not a student.
In order to carry-over tuition amounts properly, the carryover amount must be outlined in Schedule NS(S11) as a carry forward amount (which is separate from the transfer amount).
Don’t Forget Federal Tax Credits
In addition to your provincial tuition tax credits, the federal government recognizes tuition as an area that needs some alleviation from taxes and, therefore, also offers tuition tax breaks. This means that, between provincial and federal tax credits, you could be benefitting much more than you thought for this tax season.
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