The top reason every student should always file a tax return

December 12, 2014

If you’re a university student, there are great tax benefits you may not know about. So you don't miss out, here's the top reason every student should always file a tax return.
If you’re a student at a university or other post-secondary institution, you may be tempted to skip filing a return because you don’t have any income to report. But here’s a helpful hint: think twice, because it can actually be beneficial to file a tax return for students.

A golden opportunity

Being a student isn’t cheap, even if you live at home. There’s tuition, textbooks, passes for buses and subways, not to mention all the other little expenses that add up.To alleviate this financial burden, the federal government offers to pay certain costs through credits and benefits specifically designed for those who pursue an education after high school.

  • Tax returns for students provide a golden opportunity, because you need not have earned an income to benefit from them. If ever there was a great reason for a student to file a tax return, this could be it!

Don’t forget to also look into any provincial or territorial tax credits you may be eligible for as well.

The tax credits

As a student, you may be able to claim these non-refundable tax credits:

  • The “education amount”
  • Tuition fees
  • Textbooks
  • Interest paid on student loans
  • Amounts paid for public transit
  • Some moving expenses (if your move brought you at least 40 km closer to where you study)
  • Child care expenses

If you’re considered a low-income taxpayer then you’re also entitled to the GST credit, which is paid every three months. The credit is designed to help you recover the tax you pay on products and services. And if you work, your students’ tax return may grant you a deduction on your contributions to a registered retirement savings plan. An RRSP is a great way to start saving for the purchase of a first home or to prepare for retiring early.

Online tax filing is child’s play

The Canada Revenue Agency offers a service that allows you to securely file your tax return online. This easy-to-use software leads you step by step and does all the calculations for you. Tax returns for students that are electronically filed are generally treated very quickly. If you enrol for direct deposit, you may receive a refund within eight days of sending in your return.

The top reason every student should always file a tax return
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