How can I transfer my unused federal tuition amounts to my spouse, common-law partner, or relative?

Important: Beginning January 1, 2017, the Canadian government will no longer offer the education and textbook tax credits (students will still be able to claim the tuition tax credit). If you’ve got unused education and textbook credits from years prior to 2017, you’ll still be able to claim them or carry forward these amounts for use on future returns. Refer to the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) website for more information regarding these changes.  

Before you can transfer any of your federal tuition amounts to an eligible family member, you must first figure out how much of a credit is available to you, as well as the amount you’ll need to reduce your own federal tax payable. H&R Block’s tax software calculates these amounts for you once you’ve entered the information from your T2202A into the program.

Which family members are considered eligible to receive a transfer?

Once you’ve used your tuition amounts to reduce your own federal (and provincial) tax payable, you can choose to transfer any remaining amounts to one of following people:

  • Your spouse or common-law partner
  • Your parent or grandparent or
  • Your spouse’s or common-law partner’s parent or grandparent

Note: You can’t transfer tuition (and education and textbook) credits that have been carried forward from a previous year; only current year tuition amounts can be transferred.

When transferring these amounts to an eligible family member, be sure to complete the transfer section of your T2202A certificate and provide a copy to the person receiving the transfer amount.

Things to keep in mind:

  • If your spouse is claiming the spousal (or common-law partner) amount on your behalf, your spouse is the only person you can transfer your unused tuition amounts to.
  • If you’re transferring both your unused federal and provincial tuition amounts, they must be transferred to the same person.
  • The maximum credit amount that can be transferred is $5,000 less any amount you used on your own return.

Where do I claim this?

Follow these steps in H&R Block’s 2017 tax software:

  1. On the WRAP-UP tab, click the OPTIMIZATION icon.

    If you're filing your return with your spouse's:

  2. On the Education Transfers page, answer Yes to the question, You have tuition amounts available to transfer. Do you want to transfer these amounts to {spouse}?:

    Note: If you don’t want to transfer the maximum amount, you’ll need to indicate how much of your unused amounts you’d like to transfer. 

 Or

 If you indicated that your marital status was single, divorced, separated, or widowed:

  1. On the Education Transfers page, answer Yes to the question, You have tuition amounts available to transfer. Do you want to transfer these amounts to someone else?:

  2. From the dropdown menu, select the person you wish to transfer these amounts to.

    Note: If you don’t want to transfer the maximum amount, you’ll need to indicate how much of your unused amounts you’d like to transfer.
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