Students: What you need to know this tax season

As a student, there are tax credits and deductions you can claim on your return, and benefit and credit payments you could get when you do your taxes. Even if you have little or no income, you should still do your taxes to get the benefit payments you’re entitled to.

Here are the top tax credits and deductions that students often overlook.

  1. Tuition tax credit – You may be able to claim the tuition tax credit if you attended certain post‑secondary educational institutions. Under certain conditions, students can now include fees paid to a post-secondary educational institution for occupational skills courses that are not at the post-secondary level.

    Depending on how much tax you owe, you may need to use all of the credit, or just some of it. If you did not need to use all of the credit, you can either transfer it or carry it forward. Unused amounts can be transferred to your spouse or common-law partner, a parent, grandparent, or the parent or grandparent of your spouse or common-law partner to reduce their taxable income. You can also carry forward and claim in a future year the part of your 2017 tuition amount you cannot use (and do not transfer) for the year, and your unused tuition, education, and textbook amounts from 2016 and previous years. However, if you carry forward an amount, you will not be able to transfer it to anyone.
    If you are a qualifying student, you may be able to claim the scholarship exemption for scholarship, fellowship and bursary income.
     

  2. Education and textbook amounts – Even though these amounts can no longer be claimed, you can still carry forward any amounts you didn’t claim in previous years.
     
  3. Interest paid on your student loans – You may be able to claim an amount for the interest paid in 2017 on your student loan for post-secondary education. You can also claim interest paid over the past five years if you haven’t already claimed it. It must be interest paid on a loan received under the Canada Student Loans Act, the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act, the Canada Apprentice Loans Act, or a similar provincial or territorial law.
     
  4. Public transit amount – After June 30, 2017, the public transit amount is no longer available. However, you may be able to claim the public transit amount on your 2017 return for the cost of eligible transit passes that were used for public transit services for the period January 1 to June 30, 2017.
     
  5. Eligible moving expenses – If you moved for your post-secondary studies and are a full-time student, you may be able to claim moving expenses. You can deduct these expenses only from the part of your scholarships, fellowships, bursaries, certain prizes, research grants, and artists’ project grants that you have to include in your income. If you moved to work, including for a summer job or to run a business, you may also be able to claim your moving expenses. However, you can deduct these expenses only from the income you earned at the new work location. To be eligible, your new place of residence must be at least 40 kilometres closer to your new school or work. You cannot claim these expenses if they were paid by your employer.
     
  6. Child care expenses – If you pay someone to look after your child while you go to school, earn income, or conduct research, you may be able to deduct child care expenses.
     
  7. Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit – If you are turning 19 before April 1, 2019, you may be eligible for the GST/HST credit and any related provincial payments. The CRA will see if you are eligible when you do your taxes and will send you a notice if you are.
     
  8. Canada child benefit (CCB) – If you have a child, you may be eligible for the Canada child benefit (CCB), a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under the age of 18. To get this benefit, you only need to apply once and do your taxes every year to keep getting your CCB payments.
     
  9. Working income tax benefit (WITB) – If you are a student with a dependant and have a modest working income, you may be eligible for the working income tax benefit. You may be able to apply for advance payments.

 

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If you're a student and have questions this tax season, contact one of our trusted advisors today at (902) 368-2643 or drop by one of our three Prince Edward Island office locations in Summerside, Charlottetown, or O'Leary. 

http://www.mrsbgroup.com/contact

This information was made available at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/news/newsroom/tax-tips/tax-filin...

What's new this tax-filing season

This tax-filing season, many important changes and improvements were made to services, benefits, and credits for Canadians. Here's what you need to know:

New and improved credits

  • Canada caregiver credit – This non-refundable tax credit replaces the family caregiver credit, the credit for infirm dependants age 18 or older, and the caregiver credit. It gives tax relief to eligible individuals who have a spouse or common-law partner, or a dependant, with an impairment in physical or mental functions.
  • Disability tax credit (DTC) certification – Nurse practitioners across Canada can now certify the application form for the DTC.
  • Medical expense tax credit – If you need medical intervention to conceive a child, you may be eligible to claim certain expenses even if you do not have a medical condition. These expenses are the same as those that would generally be allowable for individuals who have a medical condition. If you had fertility-related expenses for any of the 10 previous calendar years and you have not claimed them, you can request a change to your income tax and benefit return(s) to include these eligible expenses.

New services

  • Mailing a paper income tax and benefit return to your home - Starting this year, the CRA will mail a 2017 income tax and benefits guide and forms book to paper filers. These individuals won’t have to go to Canada Post, Caisse populaire Desjardins, or Service Canada locations to get their printed tax products. Those who want to file on paper and haven’t received a guide and forms book by February 26, 2018, from the CRA can find what they need online or order a paper copy from the CRA. An order limit of nine packages per individual will ensure all Canadians have access to what they need this filing season.
  • File your taxes over the phone with File My Return – This new service lets eligible Canadians with simple tax situations file their return by answering a few questions over the telephone through an automated service.
  • View transactions and pay balances with CRA BizApp – The CRA has released a new mobile web app called CRA BizApp. This app lets small businesses and sole proprietors view their business account balances and make payments by pre-authorized debit to their corporation, goods and services tax / harmonized sales tax (GST/HST), payroll, and excise duty accounts.

Enhanced Services

  • Don’t wait for your notice of assessment; get an Express NOA – This service delivers a notice of assessment (NOA) directly into your certified tax software shortly after you file your return electronically. To use the service, you must be registered for online mail in My Account and file your return electronically using a certified tax software.
  • ReFILE lets you adjust your return using your tax software – The ReFILE service now lets you change your return using your preferred certified filing software. Make sure you receive your notice of assessment before sending a change through ReFILE.
  • Get Online mail directly in My Account – The CRA is adding more mail for individuals to receive directly in My Account. This tax season, online mail provides correspondence about tax free savings accounts, notices of assessment, benefit notices and slips, and more, including correspondence from some of the CRA’s review programs (e.g. requests for receipts).
  • Pay taxes in person – You can now pay your individual tax, benefits and credits repayments, and other select payments to the CRA in person with cash or a debit card at any Canada Post outlet across the country. To pay in person, you must first create a personalized payment barcode online.
  • Protect your account with Account Alerts – For added security, when a representative is added, deleted, or changed on your account, the CRA will send you an email notifying you of the recent activity on your account.
  • Automatically fill in parts of your return with Auto-fill my return - The service lets you or your authorized representatives automatically fill in parts of your 2015, 2016, and 2017 income tax and benefit returns with information the CRA has available at the time of filing the return.

Changed credits and amounts

  • Tuition, education, and textbook credits – As of January 1, 2017, the federal education and textbook credits were eliminated. However, you can still carry forward unused amounts from previous years. Also, with certain conditions, you may now be able to claim the tuition amount for fees you paid to a post-secondary educational institution for occupational skills courses, even if they are not at a post-secondary level.
  • Children’s credits – As of January 1, 2017, the children’s arts tax credit and children’s fitness tax credit were eliminated.
  • Public transit tax credit – As of July 1, 2017, this credit was eliminated. For this tax year, you can claim the cost of eligible public transit expenses only for travel taken from January 1 to June 30, 2017.
  • For more information contact any member of our tax team.

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