At this time of year, Empty Nesters turn their attention to their financial health. It is almost tax time, and everyone is gathering their receipts, and updating their RRSP statements. For children of new Empty Nesters, it is likely that this is the first time that the young adults will be filing their own taxes.
If you are funding post secondary students, it is particularly important for them to explore all the options available to them when filing their taxes. We all know about the high cost of education, and every dollar counts. Your accountant can advise you on how to best apply the tax credits for education.
Here are some tips for tackling Post Secondary taxes:
Students: take advantage of tax credits and benefits
(NC) Post-secondary education is expensive. Every semester starts with paying tuition and buying textbooks. You may need a new laptop and school supplies – and don’t forget about all the coffee you’ll need to survive the all-nighters cramming for exams. These costs can pile up which may push you to sift through the couch cushions for all the coins you can find.
Even though you may not have any income to report, you may be able to take advantage of some tax savings to put some money back in your pocket. Here are a few tips to help you out:
File your taxes
To take advantage of the tax credits and benefits available to you, such as the GST/HST credit, you have to file your taxes. Do it online – there’s a wide range of software, including some that’s free.
Sign up for direct deposit
When you combine online filing with direct deposit into your bank account, you can get your refund in as little as eight business days.
Claim your tax credits
• Tuition fees – Most tuition paid to a post-secondary institution in Canada can be claimed. You may also be able to transfer or carry-forward any unused credits.
• Education amount – You can claim $400 for each month you are enrolled in eligible full-time studies and $120 for each month you are enrolled in eligible part-time studies.
• Textbook amount – If you are eligible for the education amount, you can claim this too. You can claim $65 for each month you are enrolled in full-time studies, and $20 for each month you are enrolled in part time studies.
• Public transit amount – Generally speaking, you can claim the amount you spent on a monthly public transit pass, but not tickets or daily passes.
• GST/HST credit – You can get payment of up to $70 every three months to help you keep on top of your expenses.
You can find more information for students at www.cra.gc.ca/students.