University students may not earn a lot of money, but the Canada Revenue Agency offers a range of deductions and credits, many of which can be carried to future years or transferred to other people. As a result, there are benefits to filing your taxes, even if you are a full-time student.
University Student Income
As a university student, you must declare income earned from employment or other business activities. Similarly, if you receive scholarships, grants, or bursaries, you have to declare any amounts that exceed your tuition and fees as income. Additionally, if you withdraw money from a Registered Educational Savings Plan, you have to declare interest money earned from your RESP as income, but not money contributed to it.
For example, if your parents contributed $4,000 to your RESP, and it earned $400 in interest and you withdrew the entire amount, you would have to declare the $400 interest as income, but not the original $4,000 contributed by your parents.
Tuition Fees and Education Amounts
Your educational institution should send you a tax certificate annually that indicates the tuition and fees you paid for the year. To figure out what amounts you may claim on your tax return, you must transfer the amount of tuition and fees from your tax certificate to line 320 of schedule 11 on your general tax return.
Schedule 11 can also be used to compute your education and textbook amounts. Full-time students may claim $400 per month for their education amount and an additional $65 per month for their textbook amount. Part-time students may claim $120 and $20 per month respectively.
If you do not need to claim the full sum of these amounts on this year’s tax return, you may either carry the remainder forward to future tax returns, or you may transfer it to another person, such as your spouse or common-law partner, your parents, your grandparents, or the parents or grandparents of your spouse or common-law partner. The maximum transfer amount is $5,000 minus the amount you claimed.
If you moved to attend a full-time educational program, you may be able to deduct moving expenses on your tax return. It’s important to note that you can only deduct these expenses from scholarships, grants, or bursaries you may have received to pay for your education.
However, if you can prove that you also moved for a job (including a summer job), you may be able to deduct your moving expenses from your employment income.
Student Loan Interest
When you repay your student loans, you are able to claim the interest. Student loan interest claims can be carried forward for up to five tax years after the interest has been paid.
As a university student, there are other claims and deductions for which you may qualify.
If you use public transit to get to school, it is important to save your receipts as you may be able to write off these expenses on line 64 of your tax return.
If you have a child and must pay for childcare while you attend school, you can also deduct your childcare expenses.