Tag Archives: CRA

Tuition credits

If you are in school, you get a tax break in the form of tuition credits. And if you can’t use these credits, you can transfer them to your spouse, your parents or your grandparents.

Step 1: Get a Form T2202 from your college or university.

Step 2: The information from this form must be entered into a schedule 11 on your tax return in order to claim the credits. You will be able to claim both a tuition amount, and a monthly allowance for books, as detailed on the form. (Contact me if you have any questions.)

Step 3: If you can not use the credit (because your income is too low) you can either keep the credit for future years, or transfer it to a spouse, or transfer it to a parent or grandparent up to $5,000. To transfer the credit you must sign the back of your form T2202.

NB. The student is the one who fills out the schedule 11. If you are the person receiving the transfer you do not submit a schedule 11. The only supporting documentation you need is the signed T2202, and make sure you keep this documentation in case CRA requests it.

Read the CRA page on the subject of transferring tuition and education credits.



Do I really have to keep all these receipts for 7 years?

“I am trying to cut down on stored paper (and ideally to have none) but would like to have all my business receipts on file for next tax season. I’m wondering – is it acceptable to store the receipts in digital format? For example could I just take a photo of each receipt? And what about the tax return papers that are supposed to be stored for 7 years? Are digital photos good enough in the case of an audit or must I keep all this paper clutter?” – Jesse, Musician

Unfortunately, no, digital files are not currently accepted by the Canada Revenue Agency in the case of audit. The chap I spoke to at CRA insisted that you must keep all your receipts. When you are self employed, it can turn into a pile of paperwork, but a small accordion file for each year is often a good solution. There are bookkeeping apps that photograph your receipts, which you may find helpful when out and about, but you will want to keep the paper originals as a back-up.

And regarding what to save for tax returns: basically your Notice of Assessment, your return and any supporting documents for this year and the preceeding 6 years.

Getting ready for tax filing

Yes, it’s another list. This time it is a checklist to help you get all your paperwork ready for your tax preparer.

tax and wine

Here is a basic list of the information to put together:

a) personal details: name, address, sin, date of birth and marital status (name and sin of partner if common-law or married)

b) information about dependents – birth dates, full names, plus any eligible expenses including childcare, arts and sports expenses (contact me if you need more information about what is eligible)

c) all income information including:
T4, Statement of Remuneration Paid
T4A, Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income
T4A(OAS), Statement of Old Age Security
T4A(P), Statement of Canada Pension Plan Benefits
T4E, Statement of Employment Insurance and Other Benefits
T4RSP, Statement of RRSP Income
T5007, Statement of Benefits
T5, Statement of Investment Income
RC62, Universal Child Care Benefit statement
RC210, Working Income Tax Benefit Advance Payments Statement

d) any student loan payments (you should receive a statement which details how much interest and principal were paid off over the year.)

e) Your Notice of Assessment from your most recent tax return

f) Details about any RRSP contributions made

g) Details about any charitable donations made or moving expenses (over 40 km for work or study)

h) Self employed people – see my previous post

i) If you have rental income – hold tight, as I am working on a post about that. In the meantime, contact me for more detail if you need it.

Love and taxes

People keep asking me when they have to file as common law for tax purposes. Today I called CRA and this is what the friendly phone person told me. You have to file as common law when you have been living together for 12 months or when a couple (who share a home) have a baby together, or share custody of a child.

If you get married or become common law during the year, and you receive UCCB or GST/HST Credits, be sure to let the tax man know or expect to be asked to pay back over-payments.