Tuition Tax Credit
Notice to the readerThis measure has received Royal Assent.
For the 2017 and subsequent taxation years, Budget 2017 proposes to extend eligibility for the tuition tax credit to fees paid for occupational skills courses offered at post-secondary educational institutions in Canada that are not at a post-secondary school level. The budget also proposes to extend eligibility for the scholarship and bursary exemption to students enrolled in such programs by amending the definitions of a qualifying student and a qualifying educational program.
1. Currently, what courses taken at a post-secondary institution generally qualify for tuition tax credit?
Currently, tuition fees paid for courses at a post-secondary school level taken at a post-secondary educational institution will generally qualify for the tuition tax credit.
2. What additional courses will qualify for the tuition tax credit under the proposed changes?
Budget 2017 proposes that eligible tuition fees paid in respect of courses taken after 2016 at a post-secondary educational institution in Canada that are not at the post-secondary school level (e.g., training in a second language or in basic literacy and numeracy) will also qualify for tuition tax credit provided the student is:
- at least 16 years of age at the end of the year; and
- enrolled in the educational institution to obtain skills for, or improve the student’s skills in, an occupation.
3. If I live in Canada but commute to a post-secondary educational institution in the United States situated close to the Canada-United States border, to take a course as described above, will I be eligible for a tuition tax credit?
No, these rules do not extend to courses that are not at the post-secondary level taken at a post-secondary educational institution that is not in Canada.
4. Under the proposed rules, will I qualify for a scholarship exemption when I receive a scholarship for a program that is not at a post-secondary school level?
You may qualify for a scholarship exemption if you are considered a qualifying student. Under the proposed rules, the definition of a qualifying student will be expanded to include students aged 16 and over at the end of the year who are enrolled in a program - offered by a university, college or other post-secondary educational institution in Canada - that is not at the post-secondary level but provides the student with skills for, or improves a student’s skills in, an occupation.
5. Is a course in second language training, provided in a post-secondary educational institution in Canada, that is not at a post-secondary school level, eligible for tuition tax credit and scholarship exemption?
The fees paid for such a course may qualify for a tuition tax credit provided the course provides skills for, or improve the student’s skills in, an occupation, and the student is at least 16 years of age at the end of the year. If the student receives a scholarship or bursary in respect of the course, they may also be eligible for a scholarship exemption if they are a qualifying student under the proposed rules, as explained in question 4 above.
6. Where can I get more information on the tuition tax credit and the scholarship exemption under the current rules?
7. Where can I get more information on the proposed changes to the tuition tax credit?
The CRA is committed to providing taxpayers with up-to-date information. The CRA encourages taxpayers to check its webpages often. All new forms, policies, and guidelines will be posted as they become available.
In the meantime, please consult the Department of Finance Canada's Budget 2017 documents for details.
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