April is tax season. For students, this is the perfect time to get some extra money, and this is a student’s guide to filing income taxes. You should file for your taxes every year even if you did not have any income, because you may be eligible for tax credits on your tuition and textbooks. Know that scholarships or bursaries received during the school year will not be taxed. The Canada Revenue Agency’s official deadline for filing taxes is April 30. Here are some tips you might find useful.
First, identify who is going to file your taxes for you. So find a close-by HR Block or a trustworthy accountant, book an appointment and gather documents about all your sources of income and deductions. You will need to print your T2202A tax receipt online (they are usually available starting at the end of February each year). As stated on the T2202A, you can get tax credit of up 15 per cent of the total eligible fees paid as tuition. Here is a list of the tax credits you could be eligible for.
Student Loan Interest: You can apply for a non-refundable tax credit for your post-secondary student loan interest. This applies even if your parents or someone else pays the interest for you. As long as the loan is in your name, you are eligible.
Tuition, Education and Textbooks: Claim your tuition amount by printing the official tax receipt from your educational institution. It will show the eligible amount of tuition fees you have paid during the year.
Daycare Expenses: If you have a child(ren), chances are that they have to go to a daycare in order for you to attend classes. Therefore, you can deduct the amount you pay for daycare.
Transit Pass: Always keep the passes you use for the TTC, GO bus, ZUM and other public transit systems, because you can claim up to 15 per cent of what it cost to buy them.
GST/HST Credits: The GST/HST credit is a tax-free quarterly amount given to low- and middle-income families to offset part or all of the GST/HST they pay. GST stands for goods and services tax, while HST refers to harmonized sales tax. Most people pay these amounts when purchasing anything in Canada. In previous years, you had to apply for the GST/HST credit, but from now on, the Canada Revenue Agency will automatically determine your eligibility when you file your next income tax and benefit returns for the 2014 and later tax years.
Moving Expenses: If you’re a full-time student who has moved at least 40km for school, you are eligible to claim your moving expenses for the year the move took place and up to a year after you graduate. You may include the cost of cancelling or connecting utilities at your old and new residence. If you had to cancel your lease, rent storage facilities, pay for travel and meals or stay in a hotel during the moving process, you can claim the costs incurred. Remember to save all your receipts for moving expenses, as you will need to include them when filing your taxes.
Note: This post was updated on April 19, 2016.