There are a number of ways to make current system of tax breaks fairer, more effective, analysts say
When most people think about the ways that governments help to subsidize the cost of attending college and university, they think of student loan and grant programs. But it is the variety of federal and provincial tax credits directed at post-secondary students and their families that have actually ended up doing more of the heavy lifting.
Tuition, education and textbook tax credits cost the federal treasury about $1.6 billion in 2012 – more than twice the net cost of the Canada Student payday loans South Dakota Loans Program, for instance. Provincial tax credits are in addition to that aid.
How much are these tax credits worth? A lot, as it turns out. The federal tuition tax credit amounts to 15 per cent of the tuition and other eligible fees paid. Add to that the education tax credit, which is a claim of $400 for each month of full-time attendance ($120 a month for part-timers). The federal tax credit amounts to 15 per cent of that total. There’s also a federal textbook credit of $65 a month for full-timers and $20 a month for part-timers. Again, the credit is worth 15 per cent of that total.
Any tax credits that students don’t need to reduce their tax owing to zero can be transferred to parents, grandparents, spouses or common law partners. (more…)