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What tuition and education expenses can a student claim?

Eligible Tuition Expenses

What you can claim:

  • fees paid for admission or tuition in a qualifying program (see below);
  • books included in the fee for a correspondence course;
    NOTE: in 2006, the CRA introduced a textbook credit. (See Where do I claim my school textbooks?)
  • laboratory fees;
  • library fees;
  • mandatory computer service fees;
  • academic fees;
  • exemption, examination (including re-reading), application, confirmation, diploma, membership, or seminar fees specifically related to a program;
  • any GST, HST, and/or PST that is included with or charged on the above.
Ineligible Tuition Expenses

What you CANNOT claim:

  • supplies, and equipment
  • student association fees;
  • social or athletic association fees;
  • board, lodging, or cost of living in residence;
  • transportation and parking expenses. NOTE: in 2006, the CRA introduced a transit pass credit for monthly or longer passes. (See Transit Pass credit: How to claim this credit in TurboTax.)

 

What is a Qualifying Program

Qualifying program: Generally, a course qualifies if it was taken in the calendar year, and:

  • it was taken at the post-secondary level (e.g., college, university, technical school) or
  • it develops or improves skills in an occupation, and you were 16 or over at the end of the year, and the educational institution has been certified by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
Programs not Qualifying for Tax Credits

You cannot claim tuition paid for the following:

  • Private elementary or secondary school tuition (e.g., grade 1 through grade 12);
  • pre-school, play school, or camp fees (although you might be able to claim these as a child care expense);
  • high school upgrade courses as a prerequisite to university or college entrance;
  • private tutoring;
  • summer school programs (unless they are part of a post-secondary program, such as a college summer semester);
  • music, art, drama, or dance lessons (unless in conjunction with a post-secondary educational program, such as a Bachelor of Fine Arts or teaching certificate);
    • NOTE: With the introduction of the Children's Arts Tax Credit, music and other artistic programs DO qualify for a tax credit, but they are not associated with post secondary credits and programs.

      For more information on the Children's Arts Tax Credit (CATC) and qualifying programs, go to http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/bdgt/2011/qa01-eng.html
  • driver's education.

 




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