Transfer or carry forward amount

You have to first claim your current year’s federal tuition fees and any unused tuition, education, and textbook amounts carried forward from previous years on your Income Tax and Benefit 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 all or 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 (if any) 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.

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 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)

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 in field 32700 of his Schedule 11. Tanya claims the amount that Philip has transferred to her on line 32400 of her Income Tax and Benefit Return.

Carry forward the amount

You can carry forward your current year’s unused federal tuition fees (that you did not transfer) to claim in a future year, and any unused tuition, education, and textbook amounts carried forward from years prior to 2020, that you cannot use this year. You have to claim your carry forward amount in the first year that you have to pay income tax. To calculate the amount you are carrying forward, you have to file an Income Tax and Benefit Return and fill out  federal Schedule 11.

Notes

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 have to fill out provincial or territorial Schedule (S11) to calculate your provincial or territorial transfer or carry forward amounts. Attach the applicable schedules to your return.

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