Important: Beginning January 1, 2017, the federal education and textbook tax credits have been discontinued (students will still be able to claim the tuition tax credit). However, depending on the province or territory where you live, you might still be able to claim the education and/or textbook amounts you paid in 2017. Click here to find out if the education and textbook amounts tax credit is available in your province. 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.
As a student, you can also reduce your provincial tax payable to zero because of the amounts you’ve paid for your tuition. You’ll need to use your tax certificate (a T2202A, or an RL-8 slip if you’re a Québec resident) to complete your provincial Schedule 11 (or Schedule T if you’re a Québec resident) to determine how much of your credit amount you can claim, transfer, and/or carry forward.
Note: H&R Block’s tax software automatically completes your provincial Schedule 11 (and Schedule T, if applicable) based on the information you enter from your tax certificate.
If you don’t need to use all of your provincial tuition credit amount in a given year to reduce your tax payable to zero, you can either:
- Carry forward the unused portion for use in a future year or
- Transfer the unused amount to a family member
Carrying forward your provincial tuition amounts
If you decide to carry forward your unused provincial tuition amounts, you’ll need to claim them the first year you have to pay tax. You can find your unused provincial credit amounts on your most recent notice of assessment (NOA) or reassessment.
Note: If you move from one province to another (except Québec), your provincial carry forward amount can’t be more than the federal tuition carry forward amount. If you move to another province from Québec, you’ll lose your provincial carry forward amount.
You’ll be able to see how much of your unused provincial tuition amount is available for carry forward (or transfer) on the Education transfers page under the OPTIMIZATION icon of the WRAP-UP tab in H&R Block’s tax software.
If you answer No to the question, You have tuition and education amounts available to transfer. Do you want to transfer these amounts to someone else?, the software will automatically carry forward your entire unused provincial tuition amounts so that you can use them on next year’s return.
Tax tip: It’s to your advantage to file a tax return each year, even if you didn’t have any income, so that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or Revenu Québec can update their records with your unused tuition amounts.
Transferring your provincial tuition amounts
You can transfer all or some of your unused credit amount from this year to one person as long as they’re:
- Your spouse or common-law partner or
- Your or your spouse's parent or grandparent
You can only transfer an amount to your or your spouse’s parent or grandparent if your spouse isn’t claiming the following amounts for you:
- Spouse or common-law partner amount
- Amounts transferred from your spouse or common-law partner
The maximum amount you can transfer to a family member is $5,000 (or $6,820, if you’re a resident of Ontario) minus any amount you need to reduce your own tax payable. Keep in mind that you can only transfer your provincial tuition amounts from this year, since carryforward amounts from a past year can’t be transferred.
You can decide how much of your unused provincial tuition amounts you’d like to transfer on the Education transfers page under the OPTIMIZATION icon of the WRAP-UP tab in H&R Block’s tax software:
This page shows you how much of your tuition credit amounts you’ve got available for transfer to an eligible family member. If you answer Yes to the question, You have tuition and education amounts available to transfer. Do you want to transfer these amounts to someone else?, you can choose to either transfer the maximum amount of your unused credit amounts or specify the exact amount.
Tax tip: If you decide to transfer an amount to a designated individual, only transfer the amount he or she can use. That way, you can carry forward as much as possible to use in a future year.
Where do I claim this?
Claiming your provincial tuition amounts
To claim the tax credit, enter information from your federal tax certificate (and Relevé 8, if applicable) into H&R Block’s tax software as follows. The software will automatically complete your provincial Schedule 11 (and Schedule T, if you’re a Québec resident).
- Under the QUICK ENTRY tab, click the QUICK SLIP icon. You'll find yourself here:
- Type the name of the slip/tax certificate you received (such as T2202A, TL11A, RL-8, etc.) in the search field and either click the highlighted selection or press Enter to continue.
- When you arrive at the page for your slip/tax certificate, enter your information into the tax software.
Claiming your unused provincial tuition tax credit carried forward from a previous year
To claim your unused tuition tax credit that you carried forward from a previous year, follow these steps in H&R Block’s tax software:
- Under the PREPARE tab, click the IN THIS SECTION icon.
- Under Unused tuition amounts you carried forward from a previous year, interest paid on a student loan, and money received for school (a scholarship, grant, etc.), click the Add This button.
- Click the STUDENTS icon. You’ll find yourself here:
- Under the CREDIT AMOUNTS section, click the checkbox labelled Tuition, education, and textbook amounts carried forward from a previous year (Schedule 11), then click Continue.
- When you arrive at the page for your Unused tuition/education amounts, enter your information into the tax software.
Transferring your unused tuition tax credit
To transfer your unused tuition tax credit amount, follow these steps in H&R Block’s tax software:
- Under the WRAP-UP tab, click the OPTIMIZATION icon.
- On the Education transfers page, select Yes in response to the question You have tuition amounts available to transfer. Do you want to transfer these amounts to someone else?.
- Select the person to whom you want to transfer the amount to and if you aren’t transferring the full credit amount, enter the amount you want to transfer.