Transfer or carry forward amount

You have to claim your current year’s federal tuition fees, and applicable provincial and territorial tuition, education and textbook amounts, first on your own return, even if someone else paid your fees. The amount you must use on your own tax return is equal to the amount of credit required to reduce the taxes you owe. The calculation for this amount is included on Schedule 11.

Even if you have no tax to pay and you are transferring part of your current year’s federal tuition fees, or applicable provincial and territorial tuition, education and textbook amounts, file your return and a filled out Schedule 11 so the CRA can update its records with your unused amounts available to carry forward to other years.

If you are transferring an amount to a designated individual, only transfer the amount this person can use. This way, you can carry forward as much as possible to use in a future year.

Once you have filled out Schedule 11, if you still have an unused amount available, you can now choose one of the following options:

Transfer the current year's amount

You may transfer a maximum of $5,000 of the current year’s federal tuition amount, and where available, the applicable maximum for provincial and territorial tuition, education and textbook amounts, minus the amount you used to reduce your tax owing as calculated on Schedule 11.

You can transfer all or some of the remainder to:

  • your spouse or common-law partner (who would claim it in field 360 of their Schedule 2, depending on their province or territory of residence)
  • your parent or grandparent, or your spouse's or common-law partner's parent or grandparent (who would claim it in field 324 of their Schedule 1)

To transfer the amount, you must complete the transfer section of the certificate you received from your school.

Example

Tanya is a single parent. Her son, Philip goes to college and works part-time in the bookstore. He makes very little money.

Tanya may be eligible to claim the unused part of Philip's eligible current year's federal tuition amount and the unused provincial and territorial tuition, education, and textbook amounts that he does not need to reduce his federal income tax to zero. The maximum amount Philip can transfer is $5,000 minus the amount he claimed.

To calculate the amount of the transfer and to designate Tanya – the parent, as the person who can claim the transfer, Philip must complete Schedule 11 as well as the transfer section of the certificate he received from his school.

Philip must first claim the amount on his tax return on line 327 of his Schedule 11. Tanya claims the amount that Philip has transferred to her on line 324 of her Schedule 1.

Carry forward the amount

Your second choice is to carry forward the remaining current year's unused federal tuition fees (that you did not transfer) to claim it in a future year, and your unused tuition, education, and textbook amounts from years prior to 2017, that you cannot use this year. You have to claim this amount in the first year that you have to pay income tax. Complete Schedule 11 to calculate the amount you have available to carry forward.

Notes

Even if you do not have to pay tax and you are carrying forward an amount, you should file your return and attach a completed Schedule 11 so the CRA can update their records with your unused amounts available for carry forward to other years.

If you carry forward an amount, you will not be able to transfer that amount to anyone in the future.

Depending on your province or territory of residence, you may also need to complete Schedule S11 to calculate your provincial or territorial transfer or carry forward amounts. Attach these schedules to your return.

Supporting documents

If you are the student – If you are filing electronically, keep all of your documents in case the CRA asks to see them later. If you are filing a paper return, attach your filled out Schedule 11 but do not send your other documents. Keep them in case the CRA asks to see them later.  

If you are the person receiving the transfer – you do not submit Schedule 11, the receipts, or other forms. If you have claimed an amount transferred from a student on your return and are requested to provide supporting documentation, the student's signature must be present on the reverse side of the forms. If you are filing electronically go to E-services for individuals, keep all of your documents.

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