Ottawa, September 17, 2012
2012-105

Archived - Harper Government Helping Families With Back-to-School Tax Relief

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With the school year now underway, the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue, today reminded Canadian families about tax relief measures available to help them save more of their money.

“As the school year starts again across Canada, students and their parents are faced with costs for textbooks, bus passes and extracurricular activities such as hockey practice or ballet classes. These costs can add up. That’s why the Harper Government has introduced important tax relief measures to help families save,” said Minister Flaherty.

Some of the most notable tax savings measures available to Canadian families, children and students include:

  • Children’s Fitness Tax Credit: Parents may claim a tax credit in respect of a maximum of $500 per child for the fees paid relating to the cost of registering their child in a prescribed program of physical activity.
  • Children’s Arts Tax Credit: Parents may claim a tax credit in respect of a maximum of $500 per child for the fees paid relating to the cost of registration or membership of their child in a prescribed program of artistic, cultural, recreational or developmental activity.
  • Public Transit Tax Credit: Provides tax savings on the cost of monthly public transit passes or passes of longer duration such as an annual pass for travel within Canada on public transit.
  • Tuition, Education and Textbook Tax Credits: Provide tax savings on amounts paid for tuition and enrolment in post-secondary educational programs. Tax relief is also available for apprentices and other workers in regulated occupations who must pay to complete certification examinations.
  • Tax Exemption for Scholarships, Fellowships and Bursaries: An income tax exemption is provided for post-secondary scholarships, fellowships and bursaries received in connection with a student’s enrolment in a program that qualifies for the Education Tax Credit. An income tax exemption is also provided for scholarships and bursaries for elementary and secondary students.
  • Student Loan Interest Tax Credit: Provides tax savings on interest paid on loans for post-secondary education received under the Canada Student Loans Act, the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act, or a similar provincial or territorial government law.
  • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP): Provides incentives to save for a child’s education on a tax-assisted basis. There is no annual limit for contributions to RESPs and the lifetime limit on the amounts that can be contributed to all RESPs for a beneficiary is $50,000.

“By providing tax relief for everyday expenses such as after-school art or sports activities, and even public transit or textbooks for older students, our Government is supporting Canadian families,” said Minister Shea. “These efforts can help Canadians with some of the extra costs associated with the back-to-school season.”

“Since coming to office in 2006, the Harper Government has worked hard to reduce the tax burden on Canadian families to ensure they keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets,” said Minister Flaherty. “In fact, due to measures brought in by our Government, the average Canadian family is saving $3,100 in taxes every year. We encourage all Canadians to take advantage of these tax incentives.”

To learn more about the benefits available for families, children and students, please visit the Canada Revenue Agency’s Child and Family Benefits web page and its Students web page.

For further information, media may contact:

Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
613-996-7861

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance
613-996-8080

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