Students are always under the impression that they are not making enough money to file taxes. But they are wrong! By not filing taxes they are running away from free money in the form of tax refunds and other student credits.
There are several ways students can claim some of their expenses to help reduce their taxes:
1. Claim tuition fees and textbook amount: Students can claim tuition fees for courses taken at any recognized educational institute within Canada. Students can also claim textbook amounts for full-time and part-time education. If you don’t have enough income to claim these deductions, then you can carry the credits forward to future years when you are earning more. You can also transfer the tuition credits to a parent, grandparent, spouse or common-law partner. You are required to fill out T2202A form: Tuition, Education and Textbook Amounts Certificate when you file your tax return.
2. Claim an education tax credit: Students can claim a small amount under the education tax credit. They can claim for both full-time and part-time education.
3. Claim Interest paid on student loans: Students can claim most of the interest paid on student loans granted under the Canada Student Loans Act, the Canada Students Financial Assistance Act or similar provincial laws, as a tax credit. If you cannot use the credit, you can carry it forward for five years. But you can’t transfer the tax credit to anyone else, even if someone else paid the interest on the loan. You also can’t claim interest paid on any other kind of loan, like a personal line of credit.
4. Claim public transit amounts: Students who use public transit can claim the public transit tax credit. The credit is for cost of monthly or annual passes used for local transportation. Remember to keep receipts or expired passes as proof of your claim.
5. GST/HST credit: you may be eligible for the GST/HST credit program which is aimed at helping low to modest income Canadians. The purpose of the credit is help you handle the added cost of the tax on goods and services. It is a credit that is paid out four times a year, and if you don’t file your taxes, you won’t be eligible to receive the credit. Note you have to be 19 or over to claim this credit.
6. RRSP room: we are sure you are not thinking about saving for your retirement just yet, but by filing your taxes you build RRSP contribution room that you can carry forward into the future when you are earning a higher income.
Things you should bring when filing your taxes:
1. The official tax slip from your school (T2202A)
2. Your Social Insurance Number
3. Any employment income slips from your employer (T4)
4. Transit passes/receipts
5. Any other tax slips that you may have
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org