Top ways for students to save at tax time
Did you know?
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has tax credits, deductions, and benefits to help students. All you have to do is file your income tax and benefit return and claim them.
Here are the top ways to save at tax time:
- Claim your eligible tuition fees - An eligible tuition fee is a fee you paid to attend your post-secondary educational institution for the tax year in question. Enter the amount of your tuition on line 320 of Schedule 11, Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts.
- Claim the education amount – If you are a full-time student (or a part-time student who can claim the disability amount or has a certified mental or physical impairment), you can claim $400 for each month you were enrolled in an educational institution. If you are a part-time student, you can claim $120 for each month you were enrolled.
- Claim the textbook amount – You can claim this amount onlyif you are entitled to claim the education amount. You can claim:
- Claim the interest paid on your student loans – You may be able to claim an amount for the interest paid on your loan in 2013 for post-secondary education. You can also claim interest paid over the last five years if you haven't already claimed it. Only interest paid on loans received under the Canada Student Loans Act, the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act, or a similar provincial or territorial government law for post-secondary education can be claimed.
- Claim the public transit amount – If you use public transit, you may be able to save by claiming the cost of your transit passes. Keep your transit passes for local buses, streetcars, subways, commuter trains, and local ferries, and enter your total public transit amount on line 364 of Schedule 1, Federal Tax.
- Claim your eligible moving expenses – If you moved for your post-secondary studies and you are a full-time student, you may be able to claim moving expenses. However, you can only deduct these expenses from the part of your scholarships, fellowships, bursaries, certain prizes, and research grants that is required to be included in your income. If you moved to work, including summer employment, or to run a business, you can also claim moving expenses. However you can only deduct these expenses from the income you earned at the new work location. To qualify, your new home must be at least 40 kilometres closer to your new school or work location.
- Claim the GST/HST credit – If you have low or modest income, and you are a resident of Canada, you may be able to claim the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit. Apply for this quarterly payment by filling out the application on the first page of your income tax and benefit return.
- Claim your child care expenses – If you have to pay someone to look after your child so you can go to school, you may be able to deduct child care expenses.
The CRA has videos geared toward students. Check them out at www.cra.gc.ca/videogallery.
Do you need help filing your tax return? If you have modest income and a simple tax situation, volunteers from the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program may be able to file your tax return for you and make sure you receive all the credits and benefits you are entitled to. For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer.
CRA online services make filing easier and let you get your refund faster
The CRA’s online services are fast, easy, and secure. You can use them to file your income tax and benefit return, make a payment, track your refund, and more. Sign up for direct deposit too! Your refund and any benefit or credit payments owed to you will be deposited directly into your account, putting your money in your pocket faster. For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/getready.
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