In July of 2017, Saskatchewan followed the Canadian government’s lead and eliminated tuition tax credits and education amounts. While some Canadian provinces have chosen to omit the education and tuition tax credits altogether, Saskatchewan has implemented a slightly different model that still allows some tax relief for post-secondary graduates.
For those students that still have carry-forward balances, those can still be applied to your current income tax return, based on your previous year’s notice of assessment.
Saskatchewan offers an addition form of tax relief for their students: the Saskatchewan Graduate Retention Program
The Graduate Retention Program
This program provides a new graduate, that is living in Saskatchewan, a rebate of up to $20,000, based on the tuition paid by the student, as a non-refundable tax credit.
Once a student graduates from a qualifying post-secondary institution, the student is entitled to tax credits paid out over a seven-year period. For each tax season following graduation, a student will be able to claim a certain amount of tuition fees on their tax slip and carry forward the rest into the following years. Unlike the tuition tax credit in other provinces, the graduate’s tuition cannot be transferred to another parent, spouse or family member.
Note that the graduate must file taxes each year as a resident of Saskatchewan in order to take advantage of the Graduate Retention Program rebates.
Are You Eligible?
Graduated from an approved post-secondary program and have applied for the Graduate Retention Program within seven years of graduation
Approved programs must:
- Be equivalent to at least six months of full-time study at an eligible institution;
- Result in certificate, diploma, or undergraduate degree; or
- Provide journeyperson certification.
- Already live in Saskatchewan; or
- Are moving to Saskatchewan.
Only undergraduate programs are eligible for this program at this time.
Tuition Rebate Amounts
Likely the question that you’re asking yourself is how much of a rebate are you entitled to? The rebate amount limit that a graduate is able to claim is dependent on the program from which he or she graduated from. Below are the programs and the associated tuition rebate maximum.
- 1-year Certificate, Diploma or Journeyperson: $3,000
- 2 or 3-year Certificate or Diploma: $6,400
- 3 year Undergraduate Degree: $15,000
- 4 year Undergraduate Degree: $20,000
Credits are then calculated based on how many years the tuition has already been claimed:
- 10% of total eligible tuition amount that is allowable in each of the first four years
- 20% of total eligible tuition amount that is allowable in the following three years
Tuition tax credit in Saskatchewan looks a little different and goes by a different name, but luckily claiming the credit isn’t much more complicated.
Claiming the Non-Refundable Tax Credit for Graduates in Saskatchewan
Form needed: T2202A tax slip from the graduate’s post-secondary institution
Firstly, ensure that you have applied for the Graduate Retention Program and have received a certificate. You can start your application here.
For existing residents of Saskatchewan, once you’ve downloaded the Graduate Retention Program certificate, you can begin to apply your tuition to your tax claims for the taxation year. If you have claimed tuition in previous years, you will need to ensure that you don’t include what has already been claimed. This information can be found on your Notice of Assessment from the previous year(s).
A graduate is able to carry forward any unused credit for nine years after the year of graduation. After this time period, the graduate’s unused tuition credits will expire.
Whenever making any claims on your taxes for the year, make sure that you keep every supporting document. For tuition claimed under the Graduate Retention Program, make sure you retain your certificate, as well as your post-secondary institution’s official tuition receipt.
Carrying Forward Unused Amounts
A student and graduate are able to carry over the remaining tuition amount to be used in the following years. In order to carry over tuition amounts, the carryover amount must be outlined in Schedule SK(S11) as a carry forward amount.
Federal Tuition Tax Credits
In addition to Graduate Retention Program tax credits at the provincial level, the federal government also allocates tuition tax credits to eligible students.
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