Eligible educator school supply tax credit

In 2016, the government of Canada introduced a new refundable tax credit that recognizes the important contributions made by teachers across the country. If you’re a teacher or early childhood educator, you can now claim a 15% tax credit on up to $1,000 of your school supply purchases each year.

To be eligible, you must be employed as a teacher or early childhood educator at an elementary or secondary school or at a regulated childcare facility. You must also have a valid teacher’s certificate or a certificate or diploma in early childhood education that’s recognized in the province or territory where you work.

What kinds of supplies are eligible for this credit?

In order for the supplies you buy to be considered eligible, they must:

  • be purchased during the tax year
  • be used in a school or in a regulated childcare facility for teaching or to help students learn
  • not be reimbursable, subject to an allowance, or other form of assistance (unless these amounts are included in your income and aren’t deductible) and
  • not be deducted or used in calculating a deduction from anyone’s income for any tax year

Eligible supplies can include any of the following products:

  • Construction paper
  • Flashcards
  • Various items used in science experiments
  • Art supplies
  • Writing materials (pens, pencils, sharpeners, etc.)
  • Games and puzzles
  • Books used in the classroom and
  • Educational support software

Note: If you’re claiming this credit, it’s important to know that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) might ask you to provide a certification prepared by your employer that validates your eligible supply expenses. Be sure to request certification from your employer before you complete your return and keep it with your records in case the CRA wants to see it at a later time.

Where do I claim this?

Follow these steps in H&R Block’s tax software to file your 2016 taxes:

  1. On the PREPARE tab, click the OTHER icon.

  2. Click the SPECIAL SITUATIONS link. You will find yourself here:

  3. Answer Yes to the question, Are you a teacher or early childhood educator who bought teaching supplies?.

  4. Enter the amount you paid for eligible supply expenses for 2016 in the designated field of the tax software.