News Article

Tuition Rebate Programs Diminishing: What Can You Claim?

Posted: April 06, 2018 By : Knowledge Bureau Staff
Posted in: Strategic Thinking, tax preparation, Financial Literacy, tax credits, knowledge bureau, Evelyn Jacks, federal budget, tax courses, tax deductions, tax education, tuition credits, online courses, budget 2018, online campus, education credits, education benefits, education and training credits, student tax deductions

Use them before you lose them! That’s the message for parents and post-secondary education students filing 2017 tax returns who are looking for provincial tuition fee rebate programs to reduce student expenses. This is especially so, since the federal education and textbook credits have been cancelled. But the tuition rebate programs are diminishing, too.

First to the tuition and education credits: the provinces of BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories and Nunavut all have retained their full and part-time education and textbook amounts – at least so far. 

New Brunswick and Yukon eliminated their tuition and education credits effective January 1, 2017. Saskatchewan eliminated the tuition and education credits effective July 1, 2017. Ontario eliminated their tuition and education credits effective September 5. 2017. Finally, BC’s February 20 budget eliminated the amounts effective 2019.

Neither the Northwest Territories’ February 8 budget, Manitoba’s March 12 budget nor Nova Scotia’s March 20 budget eliminated the tuition or education credits for those jurisdictions.

Unfortunately, there is little by way of good news for the tuition rebate program, either.  In an effort to retain graduates, several provinces had begun to reimburse tuition paid to post-secondary graduates if they remained in the province after graduation.  However, most provinces have eliminated these programs.

Saskatchewan is the only province which has retained its program to rebate tuition fees. Students must apply for their tuition rebate when they file their tax returns but within seven years of graduation – 2011 graduates must apply by April 30, 2018. The rebate is a non-refundable credit equal to

  • 10% of tuition for each of the first four years of study, plus
  • 20% of tuition for each of the following three years of study,

to a maximum of $20,000. Unused credits may be carried forward for up to nine years after graduation so long as the graduate continues to be a resident of Saskatchewan.

Recent Ontario budgets have approached student assistance from another angle by enhancing the Ontario Student Assistance Program to make the cost of post-secondary education more affordable to Ontario students rather than providing tax credits for tuition fees paid after the fact.

Additional educational resources:

  1. Essential Tax Facts by Knowledge Bureau’s Evelyn Jacks is your companion to tax savings at every stage of life. Full of savvy tax tips to help you grow your wealth – after tax – to your greater peace of mind. 
  2. Spring CE Summits – for post budget action strategies, including changes to tax credits.
  3. Introduction to Personal Tax Preparation certificate. Free trial available!

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