As a student, you can reduce the provincial tax payable to zero because of the amounts you’ve paid for your tuition, education, and textbooks. You’ll need to use your tax certificate (a T2202A, or an RL-8 if you’re a Québec resident) to complete your provincial Schedule 11 (or Schedule T if you’re a Québec resident) to determine how much of your credit amount you can claim, transfer, and/or carry forward.
Note: H&R Block’s tax software automatically completes your provincial Schedule 11 based on the information you enter from your tax certificate.
Since the tuition, education, and textbooks amounts tax credit is non-refundable, meaning you can only use the credit amount to reduce your tax payable, if you don’t need to use all your provincial credit amount in a given year, you can either:
- Carry forward the unused portion for use in a future year or
- Transfer the unused amount to a family member
Carrying forward your provincial tuition amounts
If you decide to carry forward your unused provincial tuition, education, textbook amount, you’ll need to claim it the first year you have to pay tax. You can find your unused provincial credit amounts on your most recent notice of assessment (NOA) or reassessment.
Note: If you move from one province to another (except Québec), your provincial carry forward amount can’t be more than the federal tuition, education, and textbooks carry forward amount. If you move to another province from Québec, you’ll lose your provincial carry forward amount.
You can decide how much of your unused provincial tuition, education, and textbook amounts you’d like to carry forward on the Education transfers page of H&R Block’s tax software. You can find this page under the OPTIMIZATION icon of the WRAP-UP tab:
This page shows you how much of your education credit amounts you’ve got available for carry forward (or transfer to an eligible family member). If you answer No to the question, You have tuition and education amounts available to transfer. Do you want to transfer these amounts to someone else?, the software will automatically carry forward your entire unused provincial tuition and education amounts so that you can use them on next year’s return.
Tax tip: It’s to your advantage to file a tax return each year, even if you didn’t have any income, so that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or Revenu Québec can update their records with your unused tuition, education, and textbook amounts.
Transferring your provincial tuition amounts
You can transfer all or some of your unused credit amount from this year to one person as long as they’re:
- Your spouse or common-law partner or
- Your or your spouse's parent or grandparent
You can only transfer an amount to your or your spouse’s parent or grandparent if your spouse isn’t claiming the following amounts for you:
- Spouse or common-law partner amount
- Amounts transferred from your spouse or common-law partner
The maximum amount you can transfer to a family member is $5,000 (or $6,820, if you’re a resident of Ontario) minus any amount you need to reduce your own tax payable. Keep in mind that you can only transfer your provincial tuition, education, and textbook amounts from this year, since carryforward amounts from a past year can’t be transferred.
You can decide how much of your unused provincial tuition, education, and textbook amounts you’d like to transfer on the Education transfers page of H&R Block’s tax software. You can find this page under the OPTIMIZATION icon of the WRAP-UP tab:
This page shows you how much of your education credit amounts you’ve got available for transfer to an eligible family member (or carry forward for use in a future year). If you answer Yes to the question, You have tuition and education amounts available to transfer. Do you want to transfer these amounts to someone else?, you can choose to either transfer the maximum amount of your unused credit amounts or specify the exact amount. The software will carry forward any unused amounts you aren’t transferring so that you can apply them on a future return.
Tax tip: If you decide to transfer an amount to a designated individual, only transfer the amount he or she can use. That way, you can carry forward as much as possible to use in a future year.
Where do I claim this?
Follow these steps in H&R Block’s tax software to file your 2016 taxes:
- On the PREPARE tab, click the LET'S TALK ABOUT 2016 icon.
- Select the checkbox labelled I was a student.
- Click the STUDENTS icon. You'll find yourself here:
- Under the CREDIT AMOUNTS heading, select the checkbox labelled Tuition, education, and textbook amounts then click Continue.
- When you arrive at the page for the Tuition, education, and textbook amounts, enter your information into the tax software.