As a student, should I worry about filing my personal taxes?

Student life is hard enough, between studies, doing assignments, presentations, quizzes, midterms, final exams and maybe your job, the last thing you want to think about is filing your taxes. However, there might be some good in filing your taxes and here are 5 reasons why:

Tuition credit
The credit is 15% of eligible tuition fees and can be used to reduce any income tax you owe or claim as refund for income taxes paid. Your educational institution will give you a tax certificate (form T2202A) that tells you how much of your tuition fees is eligible.

Can’t use your tuition credit this year because you do not owe or pay tax? No problem, carry it forward and use in the future. Alternatively, you can transfer up to $5,000 of the current year’s unused tuition fees to your parents, spouse or grandparents. What better way to say thank you to your loved ones who have supported you this far?

The catch is, you must file your tax return in the year that you pay your tuition so that CRA can put the tuition paid in your records for you to use, carry forward to future years or transfer to loved ones.

GST credit
This is a quarterly payment you receive from CRA to help offset the GST that you pay on goods and services if your income is below a certain level. This is tax free amount that you qualify for if you are 19 years of age or older. However, the age limit does not apply if you are a parent, married or living common-law.

You don’t have to apply for this credit, CRA uses the information from your tax return to determine if you qualify and how much.

Sales tax credit
This is for BC residence (families and individuals) who are low income. The basic amount is $75 per person. Again, you don’t have to apply for this amount, you get it by just filing your tax return. To qualify, you must be 19 years or older, a parent or have a spouse or common law partner.

Public transit amount
Thanks to U-Pass BC, most post secondary students in BC pay for public transit fees. The credit is 15% of eligible public transit fees paid and can be used to reduce any income tax you owe or claim as refund for income taxes paid. Note that this credit was eliminated as of July 1st , 2017 so for the 2017 tax year you can only claim fees paid up to June 30, 2017.

Moving Expenses
Chances are you had to move away from home to attend a full time post-secondary school. The good news is, if you moved at least 40 kilometres closer to your school, you can claim your eligible moving expenses.

The catch is that if you moved to be a full-time student, you can only deduct the moving expenses against scholarships, bursaries, research grants etc. that are taxable. If the expenses are higher than the income earned, you get to carry forward the moving expenses to future years.

Are you a student currently in the Co-op program? Co-op students can claim moving expenses to and back from a work term if certain requirements are met.

Need help with your taxes but too busy or out of town? No problem, send me your information electronically through Email, Dropbox or WhatsApp. I will complete and file your tax return without you leaving the comfort of your home. Contact me today at or (778) 713-1391.


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