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Frequently asked questions about transferring and carrying forward tuition and education amounts

Can the person who paid the tuition claim it?

The CRA requires that the student claim the tuition fees on their own return first, regardless of who paid them.

Once the student’s tax owing is reduced to zero, they can transfer leftover amounts to their spouse/partner, parent or grandparent, or to their spouse’s parent or grandparent.

Does the student have to transfer their unused amounts?

No, the student can choose to carry forward the unused amounts and claim them in a future year, or transfer some of the unused amounts and carry forward the rest.

What are the benefits of transferring the unused amounts versus carrying them forward?

Transferring unused amounts to someone in your family helps that person lower their balance owing.

On the other hand, any amounts the student doesn’t transfer can be carried forward to reduce the student’s balance owing in the future.

Can the student split the amount they transfer between parents?

No, only one person can receive the transfer. If the student is transferring their provincial amount as well as their federal amount, the same person must receive both transfers.

Students don’t have to transfer to the same person every year.

Should the student transfer to the parent with the higher or lower income?

The credit isn’t affected by income, so the student can transfer tuition to either parent.

How much can the student transfer?

The student can transfer up to $5,000 on their federal return, minus the amount the student used on their own return first to reduce their federal tax owing to zero.

Depending on the province or territory’s tuition, education and textbook credits, students may also transfer the province’s maximum amount minus the amount they need to reduce their provincial tax owing to zero.

How much should the student transfer?

The student should transfer only as much as the recipient needs to reduce their tax owing to zero—this way there is no excess amount that goes to waste.

If the student has an amount left over after transferring as much as the recipient needs, they can carry it forward to reduce their balance owing in a future year.

Can one parent claim a transfer from one child and the other parent from a different child?


Each child should indicate on their T2202 or T2202A who they designate to receive their transfer.

Can the student transfer amounts that he or she carried forward from a previous year?

No, the CRA only allows amounts from the current year to be transferred.

The CRA requires that amounts carried forward from previous years be used on the student’s tax return to reduce their balance owing.

Is there an age limit for a student transferring tuition?

No, there is no age limit for a student transferring tuition.

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