I paid for my husband's tuition and now I'm filing for the two of us, I have elected to transfer the tuition to me to reduce my tax payable, but it did not reduce it?
If you have elected to transfer your spouse's tuition to your return, yet you are not seeing a reduction of your own tax payable (resulting in a larger refund or lower balance due), it could be due to a few different reasons.
Tuition is a Non-Refundable Tax Credit that must first be used to reduce the tax payable or liability of the student. Tax payable is what is calculated on your income entries, not the bottom line of a refund or balance due.
Check if any of the following situations apply to you and you should be able to determine why you are not seeing anything on your own tax return.
The tuition was a carry forward amount from the previous year and cannot be transferred. Only tuition amounts entered from current year T2202A tax slips or receipts can be transferred.
Your spouse needed to use all of his/her tuition credits to reduce their own tax payable to zero. The student can transfer up to $5,000 on their federal return, minus the amount they used on their own return first to reduce their federal tax owing to zero. For example: If you needed $5,000 to reduce your own tax payable to zero, the amount of tuition available to transfer would be zero.
You did not need any of the credit on your own return as you have already reduced your tax liability with other Non-Refundable Tax Credits. Therefore transferring an amount from your spouse would have no effect on your return. (When a person transfers tuition to someone who does not need it, that credit is in fact "lost". The person receiving the transfer cannot carry it forward, so you must be careful not to transfer any amounts more than needed.)
You should look on your spouse's Student Summary and see how much (if any) of the tuition was used by the student first. It shows up as Amount Claimed in 2019.