2021 Tax Season Guide for Students
2021 Tax Season Guide for Students

Tax season is here! If you haven’t submitted a tax return yourself before or are filing your return for the first time, it might seem confusing to know what forms you need, what tax credits you're entitled to, or simply how to file. We’ve created a handy guide to help post-secondary students find the important information they need when filing their taxes with helpful links from the Canada Revenue Agency.

In this blog post, you’ll find a few highlights from our Tax Filing Guide for Students. Check it out here.

General Information for Students

Regardless of if you are a full time or part time, domestic or international student attending a post-secondary institution, you should file a tax return. There are instances where students may not have to file a return if they have no income or tax to pay in order to carry forward tuition tax credits to a year where you have taxable income to claim in a future year. Mature students are still considered students when filing their tax returns.

International students will need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to file a tax return. If you don’t have a SIN, contact Service Canada or visit this page to apply for one.

File your taxes for FREE with UFile

Did you know that the Canadian Federation of Students offers students free tax filing with UFile all year round?

Simply enter code CFS1981 once you’re done completing your tax return on UFile! Head over to ufilefree.ca for more detailed instructions on how to use the code to file your taxes for free.

Tax Credits for Students

Non-refundable tax credits reduce your federal tax up to the amount of owing. You can only use these tax credits to reduce your tax payable to zero and cannot get a refund for these tax credits. Common federal non-refundable tax credits for students include: Canada employment, tuition amount, moving expenses, child care expenses

Refundable tax credits reduce your tax owing and any remaining credit is refunded to you or applied to another balance owing. Common refundable tax credits for students may include: canada training credit, child and family benefits, other provincial or territorial tax credits.

International students are eligible for the tuition amounts and the GST/HST tax credit. International students may qualify for other tax credits depending on their residency status. For more information, contact the Canada Revenue Agency.

Did you receive COVID-19 Benefits in 2021?

If you received COVID-19 benefits in 2021, the benefits are included in your taxable income. You will either receive a T4A or T4E slip reporting these benefits. Residents of Quebec will receive a T4A slip and an RL-slip. Details of these slips will need to be provided on your tax return.

Repaying COVID-19 Benefits

If you’re having trouble paying any of the COVID-19 benefits you’ve received, the CRA has payment arrangements that may work for you. Find out more information here.

The deadline for filing your tax return for the 2021 tax year is April 30, 2022.

For more detailed information visit our tax guide!