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Scholarships and Awards

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Filing Your Return    ->    Students -> Income from scholarships and awards

Line 130 Income From Scholarships and Awards

Income Tax Act s. 56(1)(n), 56(3)

Scholarships and bursaries received toward elementary and secondary school educational programs are not taxable.

There is a basic scholarship exemption for the first $500 of scholarships, fellowships, bursaries and prizes.

The exempt portion of scholarships does not have to be reported on the tax return.  If you are using income tax software, you can enter the amounts from the T2202A in the appropriate boxes, and the income will not be included in taxable income. However, check to make sure it isn't included!  The T2202A will also show the number of full-time and part-time months of education.

For all provinces and territories except Quebec, generally, scholarship, bursary and fellowship income is fully exempt from tax when the income is received in connection with the student's enrolment in an education program in respect of which the student is a qualifying student in the taxation year, in the immediately preceding taxation year or in the following taxation year.

For more information on qualifying student, see the link at the bottom of the article.  The T2202A Tuition and Enrolment Certificate received by a student will show the eligible tuition fees, and number of months of full-time and part-time enrolment.

If you are not a qualifying student, then only the first $500 of awards is tax free.  Amounts received in excess of $500 are reported on line 130 of your tax return.  Any taxable scholarship amounts would be reported in the Other Income line in the Detailed Canadian Income Tax and RRSP Savings Calculator.

When you receive a scholarship, bursary, or tuition for post-secondary education from the employer of a family member, you will receive a T4A slip from the employer.  Prior to 2007, this income was taxable to the employee instead of to the employee's family member who received the income.  When scholarships, bursaries, or tuition are provided for elementary or secondary school, the fair market value (FMV) of these benefits are still a taxable benefit to the employee.

Quebec Students

Quebec students should enter the scholarship, bursary or other financial assistance amount from box O of the RL-1 slip on Line 154 of the Quebec personal income tax return.  These amounts will be identified with the code RB in the "Code (case O)" box of the RL-1 slip.  Note that you can claim a deduction of the same amount on line 295.  See Scholarships and Bursaries in the Revenu Quebec Line-by-Line Help Line 154 - Other Income.  In the Quebec Income Tax Calculator, the scholarship/bursary amount would be entered in Other Income - QC and again in Other Deductions - QC.  For amounts that are taxable federally, the amount would also be entered in Other Income - Federal.

Federal 2010 Budget Changes

Budget measures implemented:

bullet clarification that post-doctoral fellowships are taxable.  A post-secondary program consisting primarily of research will only be eligible for the education tax credit and the scholarship exemption if it leads to a college or CEGEP diploma, or a bachelor, masters or doctoral degree or equivalent.
bullet an amount is eligible for the scholarship exemption only to the extent that it is received in connection with enrolment in an eligible educational program for the duration of the period of study related to the scholarship.
bullet the scholarship exemption is limited, in the case of part-time programs, to the amount of tuition paid for the program plus the costs of program-related materials.  There is an exception to this for a student entitled to the disability tax credit, or a student whose medical or physical impairment prevents them from being enrolled on a full-time basis.

These measures apply to the 2010 and subsequent taxation years.

See also Tax Information for Students.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) resources:

     - S1-F2-C3: Scholarships, Research Grants and Other Education Assistance

    - S1-F2-C1: Qualifying Student and the Education and Textbook Tax Credits - although there are no longer federal education/textbook credits, definitions are still shown in this folio:

          - Qualifying student

          - Designated educational institution

          - Qualifying educational program

     - Line 130 - Other income - Scholarships, fellowships, bursaries, and artists' project grants

     - Scholarships, bursaries, tuition, and training - re payments made for employees or their family members

Revised: March 26, 2019

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