The Tuition Tax Credits for tuition, education amounts and textbooks are non-refundable tax credits. There is a Federal tax credit as well as a provincial or territorial tax credit for tuition, education and textbook amounts. For this reason, to claim these amounts, or to transfer them to another person, you must complete both the Federal Schedule 11 of your tax return, and the provincial S(11) schedule. Québec uses Schedule T for tuition or examination fees being claimed or carried forward.
To claim the tuition tax credit, you must have received from the educational institution either an official tax receipt or a completed form T2202A, Tuition, Education and Textbook Amounts Certificate. If you paid less than $100 for the year to any particular educational institution, that amount is not claimable. Otherwise, the total tuition fees paid in the year are claimable. The costs of books, room and board, or student association fees cannot be claimed. If the fees were paid by your employer or the employer of one of your parents, then the costs are not deductible unless the reimbursed amount is included in your income or your parent’s income. Private school tuition fees for elementary and secondary students are generally not tax deductible.
The textbooks tax credit is an additional tax credit starting in 2006, similar to the education tax credit, for textbooks. This non-refundable tax credit is based on $65/month for full-time attendance or $20/month for part-time attendance.
If you do not have enough income to utilize your total tuition costs, education amount or textbooks amount, you can either carry forward these amounts to future years (no limit to carry-forward period), or you can transfer the costs to your spouse, common law partner, or to a parent or grandparent of you or your spouse or common law partner. The maximum amount that can be transferred to a parent or grandparent is $5,000, less the costs claimed by the student. This may still result in costs remaining that can be carried forward. The transfer of costs to another person should not be more than can be utilized on their tax return. Then any excess costs can still be carried forward.
Once unused costs have been carried forward, they cannot be transferred to anyone in a future year.