Filing Your Return -> Students -> Tuition, education and textbook tax credits for courses outside Canada
Income Tax Act s. 118.5(1)(b)
In some cases a tuition tax credit may be claimed for courses taken outside Canada. The following criteria must be satisfied in order to claim the credit:- full-time attendance at a university outside Canada in a course leading to a degree (not just a diploma).
- the university must be recognized by a nationally accepted accrediting body of its country. The institutions in Schedule VIII of the Income Tax Regulations are qualifying institutions. To obtain a current list, contact a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Tax Services Office.
- the course must not be less than 3 consecutive weeks in duration (13 weeks prior to 2011).
- fees paid by the student's employer, or by the employer of a parent of the student, may not be claimed unless those fees have been included in the income of the student or the student's parent.
When the courses taken outside Canada have been completed online, the tuition tax credit may still be claimed if the courses have a duration of at least 13 weeks. See the Tax Court of Canada cases McGrath v. The Queen, November 2006 and Valente v. The Queen, March 2006.
When the courses taken outside Canada have been taken by correspondence, the tuition tax credit may not be claimed. However, the education credit for part-time enrollment may still be claimed, because the criteria includes enrollment, not physical attendance. See Tax Court of Canada case Cleveland v. The Queen, October 2003.
The educational institution will provide form- TL11A - Tuition, education and textbook amounts certificate - university outside Canada
There have been Tax Court Cases which denied the tuition credit for courses which did not meet the 13 week duration criteria. See Tax Court of Canada cases Fayle v. The Queen, January 2005, and Ali v. The Queen, November 2004.
CRA Resources:- Eligible tuition fees
Tax Tip: Make sure your university courses taken outside Canada have a duration of at least 3 weeks.
Education and Textbook Tax Credits for Courses Outside Canada
Ref: Income Tax Act s. 118.6(1)(b), 118.6(1)(c) and 118.6(2)
When courses are taken outside Canada, education and textbook tax credits may be claimed according to the guidelines in Tuition costs and education amount above. A designated educational institution includes:
- a university outside Canada at which the individual was enrolled in a course, of not less than 3 consecutive weeks duration (13 weeks prior to 2011), leading to a degree, or
- if the individual resided throughout the year in Canada near the US border, a university, college or other educational institution in the US providing courses at a post-secondary school level, to which the individual commuted.
To qualify for the part-time education tax credit, the individual must be enrolled at a designated educational institution in a program of not less than 3 consecutive weeks duration, that provides that each student in the program spend not less than 12 hours in the month on courses in the program.
For the amounts of Federal and provincial/territorial education and textbook tax credits, see the tables of non-refundable tax credits.
See also Tax Information for Students
Revised: April 21, 2019
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