What if I went to a university outside of Canada?

Important: Beginning January 1, 2017, the tuition, education, and textbook tax credit is being replaced with the tuition tax credit. If you have unused education and textbook credits from a previous year, you’ll still be able to claim them on your 2017 return or on a future return.

If you were enrolled in a post-secondary program at a university located outside of Canada, you might be able to claim the tuition, education and textbook amounts if one of the following situations applied to you in 2016:

  • You were in a full-time student at a university enrolled in a program leading to at least a bachelor degree or equivalent level and your tuition fees have been paid

  • You were enrolled at a college, university , or other educational institution in the United States and you:
    • Lived in Canada throughout the year (but within a reasonable distance to the U.S. border)
    • Commuted to your school located in the U.S. and
    • Paid more than $100 in tuition fees to the educational institution for the year

The educational institution you attend will issue you one of the following certificates, which you’ll use to complete your tax return:

You’ll need to use the amounts found on these slips to calculate your tuition tax credit on your Schedule 11 (or your Schedule T, if you’re a resident of Québec). If you don’t need to use your entire tuition credit amount to reduce your income tax payable this year, you can either carry forward the unused amount for use in a future year, or transfer them to your spouse or common-law partner, parent, or grandparent. Whatever you decide, be sure to hang on to the certificate and any other receipts issued to you by the school you attended in case the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) asks to see them at a later time.

Note: You can only transfer the current year’s unused tuition, education, and textbook amounts to an eligible family member.

Did you know? Distance learning courses conducted over the Internet might qualify for the tuition amount if the courses you’re enrolled in require you to be in virtual attendance, on a full-time basis, for both regularly scheduled classes and other course-related activities. Having said that, you’ll need to be able to show that you’ve met the full-time attendance requirements.  For more information, refer to the CRA website.

Where can I learn more?