What students need to know this tax season
January 20, 2022
Canada Revenue Agency
As a student, you may have many questions about taxes and might be filing an income tax and benefit return for the first time. We understand that many students have unique personal and financial situations, especially given the last year. Let’s make sure you don’t miss out on benefits and credits to which you may be entitled. Find out what you could get and what you need to know in this tax tip.
Filing deadline for most individuals is April 30, 2022
Since April 30, 2022, falls on a Saturday, your income tax and benefit return will be considered filed on time in either of the following situations:
- We receive it on or before May 2, 2022
- It is postmarked on or before May 2, 2022
You have until June 15, 2022, to file your tax return if you or your spouse or common law-partner are self-employed.
The payment deadline is April 30, 2022
If you have a balance owing, your payment is due on April 30, 2022.
If you or your spouse or common law-partner are self-employed, your payment is still due on April 30, 2022.
Since April 30, 2022, falls on a Saturday, in both of the above situations, your payment will be considered paid on time if we receive it, or it is processed at a Canadian financial institution, on or before May 2, 2022.
If you filed your 2020 income tax and benefit return and qualified for interest relief, you have until April 30, 2022, to pay any outstanding income tax debt for the 2020 tax year to avoid future interest charges. This applies to the tax owing for the 2020 tax year only, and not for any previous tax year.
We encourage you to file your taxes on time. Doing so will ensure your benefit and credit payments are not interrupted. Even if you owe tax, don’t risk having your benefits interrupted by not filing. If you cannot pay your balance owing, we can work with you on a payment arrangement.
Learn about your taxes
This year, we are launching a new online learning tool to help students learn about taxes and empower them to do their taxes on their own. The free online learning tool provides you with lessons that help you understand what taxes are, why we pay them, how to read your pay stubs and income tax slips, and finally, how to do your taxes. Following each lesson, you can test yourself with exercises and quizzes. For more information, go to Learn about your taxes.
Our service standard is to issue your notice of assessment (NOA) within two weeks of receiving your return online. Due to COVID-19 delays, the CRA may take 10 to 12 weeks to process paper returns. The CRA will process them in the order they are received. Canadians who file online and who are signed up for direct deposit may get their refund in as little as eight business days.
If you received benefits issued by the CRA in 2021, such as the Canada Recovery Benefit, a T4A information slip will be mailed to you by the end of February 2022. Residents of Quebec will receive a T4A information slip and an RL-1 slip.
T4A information slips from the Government of Canada for COVID-19-related benefits will also be provided online if you’re registered for My Account and have full access. To have full access to My Account, you need to enter the CRA security code we issued to you after completing the first step of the registration process.
T4A information slips, including information for COVID-19-related benefits, are also available through the Auto-fill my return service in certified tax filing software. This is because this service automatically fills in parts of an income tax and benefit return with information that the CRA has on file. To use the service, you must be registered for My Account.
When COVID-19 benefits were paid, some tax was withheld at source. If you end up owing more tax on top of that, we understand that payment could present significant financial hardship. In that case, our expanded payment arrangements could work for you. This will give you more time and flexibility to repay based on your financial situation. Also, taxpayer relief is available if you can’t meet your tax obligations because of circumstances beyond your control. The CRA may cancel or waive penalties or interest under certain conditions.
The government introduced proposed measures in the 2021 Fall Economic Statement to provide partial debt relief to students who received, but were not eligible for, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or the Employment Insurance Emergency Response Benefit (EI-ERB). Details will be provided as more information becomes available. No action is required at this time.
There may be other effects to filing your return that are specific to a COVID-19 benefit you received or if you’re a resident of Quebec.
Take advantage of our digital services!
Sign up for My Account to easily manage your tax and benefit affairs online. You can use My Account to quickly change your address and direct deposit information. You can also track your refund, view your return status, make a payment, sign up for email notifications, and more.
Quickly see if you have any uncashed cheques from us
Select “Uncashed cheques” in My Account under related services. If you have an uncashed cheque, ask us for a duplicate payment by selecting and completing the displayed form. Send us the form using the “Submit documents” digital service.
Get free tax help
If you have a modest income and a simple tax situation, volunteers at a free tax clinic may be able to file your return for you. Free tax clinics are available in person and virtually. To find out if you’re eligible, and to find a tax clinic, go to our Free tax clinics page.
You can also quickly and securely file your return online. We have a list of certified tax software products that are easy to use, fast, and secure. Some of which are free! When you file using a NETFILE-certified software, you may be able to use:
- Auto-fill my return: A secure CRA service that allows individuals and authorized representatives using certified software, to automatically fill in parts of an income tax and benefit return with information that the CRA has available at the time of the request.
- Express NOA: A secure service that allows individuals and authorized representatives to view the notice of assessment in their software, right after the return has been received and processed by the CRA.
Save money at tax time
Here are some benefits and credits you may be entitled to that could save you money at tax time:
- Tuition tax credit – You could reduce the tax you may owe if you paid tuition fees to a post-secondary school or to an educational institution certified by the federal Minister of Employment and Social Development to develop or improve skills in an occupation. You may be able to transfer your unused tuition to your spouse or common-law partner or your or your spouse or common-law partner’s parents or grandparent.
- You can transfer all or some of your unused tuition amount to:
- your spouse or common-law partner (who would claim it in field 36000 of their Schedule 2)
- your parent or grandparent, or your spouse's or common-law partner's parent or grandparent (who would claim it on line 32400 of their income tax and benefit return)
- You can transfer all or some of your unused tuition amount to:
- Carrying forward past amounts – You can carry forward your current year’s unused tuition fees (that you did not transfer) to claim in a future year. You can no longer claim federal education and textbook amounts on your return. But, you may still be able to carry forward any education, and textbook amounts from previous years. If you carry forward an unused amount, you must claim it when you file your return for the first year you owe income tax.
- Canada training credit – You may be able to claim this refundable credit for eligible tuition and other fees paid to an eligible educational institution in Canada for courses you took in 2021 or for fees paid to certain bodies related to an occupational, trade, or professional examination taken in 2021.
- Interest paid on your student loans – You may be able to claim part of the interest you’ve paid on your student loans for post-secondary education.
- Eligible moving expenses – If you moved for school and are a student in full-time attendance, you may be able to claim your moving expenses. However, you can only deduct those expenses from the parts of the following amounts that you’re required to include in your income:
- certain prizes
- research grants
- Canada workers benefit – This benefit is a refundable tax credit. It’s available to eligible individuals and families who work, but earn a low or modest income. If you were enrolled as a full-time student at a designated educational institution for a total of more than 13 weeks in the taxation year, you must have an eligible dependant to receive this credit.
- Goods and services tax / harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit – You may be eligible to get a tax-free credit payment four times a year. This payment is for people with low or modest incomes. You may be eligible if any of the following conditions apply:
- You turn 19 before April 1, 2022
- You have a spouse or common-law partner
- You are a parent and live with your child
- Canada child benefit – If you have a child, you may be able to get tax-free monthly payments. These payments made to eligible families help with the cost of raising children under 18. To keep getting the payments, file your return every year.
- Provincial and territorial benefits – You may qualify for provincial or territorial benefits, depending on where you live.
- Climate action incentive (CAI) – The Government of Canada has announced its intention to deliver the CAI payment as a quarterly benefit. If you are a resident of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, or Ontario, and you are eligible, you will automatically receive your CAI payments four times a year, starting in July 2022. To receive your payments, you have to file a tax return even if you have not received income in the year. You may qualify for the supplement for residents of small and rural communities if you currently reside outside of a census metropolitan area (CMA) and expect to continue to reside outside of a CMA on April 1, 2022.
- Child care expenses – If you paid someone to look after your child so you could go to school, do paid work, or do research, you may be able to deduct your child care fees. For 2020 and 2021, you do not need to go to school, do paid work, or do research to be able to deduct your child care fees. You may be able to deduct your child care fees if you were entitled to receive, in the year, any federal, provincial, or territorial government COVID-19 payments for which you have received a T4A or T4E slip, employment insurance benefits, employment insurance special benefits, or Quebec parental insurance plan benefits.
You may be able to claim credits and other expenses
If you owe money this year, you may be able to claim certain non-refundable tax credits. If you are eligible to claim them, non-refundable tax credits lower the taxes that you owe at tax time. For example, you may be able to claim the:
Protecting you from scams and fraud
The safety and security of Canadians and their information is a priority for the CRA. Being a victim of scams, fraud, or identity theft can result in significant financial and emotional effects.
Know when and how we might contact you. The Be Scam Smart page provides information on the ways in which we may contact you, including by:
We also provide information on securing CRA accounts and encourage you to:
- Use unique and complex passwords. Always use unique passwords for your CRA and online banking accounts. Do not reuse the same password for different systems.
- Create a PIN. We suggest you set up a personal identification number (PIN) in My Account or have one of our contact centre agents help you set up your PIN. Your PIN will be used to help confirm your identity on future calls with us.
- Sign up for email notifications. We recommend you sign up for “Email notifications” through My Account. That way, you will receive an email if your address or direct deposit information has been changed on our records. These notifications can act as an early warning for potential fraudulent activity. Effective February 2022, as a fraud prevention initiative, it will be mandatory to provide an email address to access My Account. This will allow the CRA to inform taxpayers in real time of changes made to their account.
- Monitor your account for suspicious activity. Check your online CRA accounts regularly for any suspicious activity. Look for changes to your address and direct deposit information that you did not make or request. Also, please watch for benefit applications made for you. It is important that any of these changes that you did not make are reported to us right away.
More ways to find answers to your questions
To learn more about the benefits of filing, go to our Students page. You can also check out our questions and answers about filing your taxes page for more answers to common questions. This page will be updated periodically to incorporate changes that may affect you during the tax-filing season.
If you need a quick answer to a question, you can use Charlie, our friendly chatbot. Charlie will help you find the information you need to file your income tax and benefit return! You can find Charlie on the CRA home page and many of our other web pages on Canada.ca.
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