Cannan: Feds provide back to school tax relief for students, families

I encourage post-secondary students…to make sure you are receiving all the educational tax relief to which you are entitled.

The September long weekend has come and gone and most families are back into the routine of work and school.

For those attending post-secondary school, back to school means one more step toward achieving the goal of finding a good job after graduation.

In Canada, education has long been viewed as a means to a secure future for individuals and as a key driver of long-term economic prosperity for the country.

In fact, as global economies become increasingly competitive, post-secondary education holds the key to maintaining Canada’s edge in the global marketplace.

The good news is, according to a recent study published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Canada ranks first among OECD countries in the proportion of adults with post-secondary education.

In order to maintain this high level of education among Canadians, our government will continue to support effective tax policies that are designed to make post-secondary education accessible and affordable for students.

For instance, students can claim tuition fees paid to a university, college, or other educational institution in Canada for courses taken at the post-secondary level, including tuition fees paid for courses certified by Employment and Social Development Canada to develop or improve skills in an occupation.

Students can claim an education amount of $400 for each whole or part month in the year in which they are enrolled full-time in a qualifying educational program, or $120 per month for part-time enrolment in a specified educational program, at a designated educational institution.

And students can also claim a textbook amount of $65 for each month where they qualify for the full-time education amount or $20 for each part-time month.

Last year alone, Canadian students and their families claimed more than $11 billion in financial assistance.

I encourage any new or returning post-secondary students attending a Canadian college or university, including UBC Okanagan, Okanagan College or any of the programs at one of our local certified educational institutes, to make sure you are receiving all the educational tax relief to which you are entitled.

More information on tuition, education, and textbook tax credits, and other information specifically for students is available on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website at www.cra.gc.ca/students .

More than ever, learning is vital to our individual and collective futures and is a lifelong pursuit.  As they say, when we stop learning, we stop living.

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