B.C. Back-to-school tax credit

Starting in 2016, residents of British Columbia can claim a credit of $250 for each child who’re between the ages of 4 and 17 at the beginning of the year to help with the cost of purchasing school supplies.

While you aren’t allowed to split this credit amount with another person, if you’re making this claim for more than one child, both you and your spouse or common-law partner can each claim this amount for a different child.

If you’ve got joint custody of a child with another eligible parent, you must both agree which one of you will be claiming this credit otherwise the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) won’t allow either person to claim it. To make things easier, both you and the other eligible parent can choose to alternate the years in which you claim this credit.

Where can I claim this?

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

Before you begin, make sure that you told us you lived in BRITISH COLUMBIA on December 31, 2016. You also need to tell us about your dependant(s) for whom you’ll be claiming this credit.

Note: If you indicated that your marital status for 2016 was Single, H&R Block’s tax software will automatically claim this amount on your return as long as both you and your dependant are eligible. If, however, you indicated that your marital status for the year was Married or Common-law, you can choose which person will claim the credit.

If you’re filing a separate return from your spouse’s, or if you indicated that you were separated or divorced, you’ll have the option to not claim this amount if the other parent is claiming it on his or her return.

  1. On the WRAP-UP tab, click the OPTIMIZATION icon. You will find yourself here:


  2. In the Here are the additional credits we’ve claimed for you section of the Credits and claims page, answer Yes to the question, Would you prefer not to claim these credit(s) or, would you like to distribute them differently between you and your spouse (if applicable)?.

  3. Select which person will claim the British Columbia back-to-school amount from the appropriate dropdown menu.