How do I claim or transfer unused tuition, education, and textbook amounts?

Important: Beginning January 1, 2017, the Canadian government will no longer offer the education and textbook tax credits (students will still be able to claim the tuition tax credit). 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. Refer to the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) website for more information regarding these changes.  

In order to claim your dependant’s unused tuition, education, and textbook amounts, the student has to be either:

  • your or your spouse/common-law partner’s child or
  • your or your spouse/common-law partner’s grandchild  

Do you have more than one student in your family? Let’s say you have two children who’re both enrolled in college and have unused tuition amounts this year that can be transferred. You can have one child transfer their unused tuition amounts to you, while the other child can transfer their unused amount to your spouse – giving you both a tax break!  

The first step to figuring how much of this credit can be used on your return will be to complete your dependant’s tax return. Remember, the maximum amount your dependant can transfer to you is $5,000 (federally and provincially) less any amount they need to reduce their own tax owning.

Note: Ontario residents can transfer up to $6,922 in unused provincial amounts. 

Make sure that your dependant also completes the Designation for Transfer of an Amount section on the back of their T2202A: Tuition Education and Textbook Amounts Certificate or part 3 of their TL11A, TL11B, TL11C, or TL11D slip indicating who the recipient of the transfer will be as well as the federal and provincial amounts being transferred. Both you and your dependant will need to keep a copy of this document with your records.



Locating your dependant’s transfer amounts in the software 

As mentioned above, before you can claim your dependant’s unused credit amounts, you must first complete their return. Once you’ve finished entering all of your dependant’s slips and claimed the credits that apply to them, head over to the Education Transfers page under the OPTIMIZATION icon of the WRAP-UP tab. There, you’ll be asked if you want to carry forward the unused amount to another year or transfer them to an eligible family member (like you):

You can either choose to transfer a specific amount, or transfer the amount calculated by H&R Block. If you choose to transfer an amount that’s less than the maximum allowed, the remaining amount will be carried forward for your dependant to use in another year.

Note: If the student is a resident of Québec, they’ll only be able to transfer a provincial amount if they’ve received an RL-8: Amount for post-secondary studies slip and entered the information into the tax software.

Claiming the transferred amount on your return

Once you’ve noted the federal and provincial transfer amounts, you can go ahead and complete your own return. Return to H&R Block’s tax software dashboard and start a new return. Make sure that you take a few moments to complete the ABOUT YOUR DEPENDANTS section of your return:

Once you’ve told us about your dependant, follow these steps to claim their unused education, tuition, and textbook amounts:

  1. Select the name of your dependant located in the left-hand navigation panel.

  2. Under the Transfer amounts heading, select the checkbox labelled Tuition, education, and textbook amounts then click Continue.

  3. When you arrive at the page for claiming your dependant’s unused tuition, education, and textbook amounts, enter your information into the tax software.