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Children private school tuition

So I have a client who has two children. One child is 8 years old and is in a private school. The parents sent me her tuition fees. Can this be claimed? Also, the school issued a t4a in the child’s name. How do I enter that t4a? Do I have to create a return for an 8 yr old? Sorry I have never come across this before.

Hi, Sherry …

I can answer part of your question. All my 5 children attended private, Christian schools, so I understand this through my involvement with 3 different Christian schools that my children attended.

You can refer to this CRA guide for specific details:

Section 7 in this guide was how the three schools I was involved with handled this situation.

Reading through the guide, the school needs to be a Religious school, and the school issues a donation receipt for part of the tuition fees paid. In our case (see section 7), an official donation receipt is issued for that portion of a payment which is in excess of the pro-rated “cost per pupil” for academic training. Section 12 is interesting in that states that a donation for the full amount can be claimed if the tuition is paid by someone other than a parent or guardian so no benefit is attained.

So basically, you can’t simply claim the tuition. The parent should be receiving a donation receipt.

I’m not sure why the school would issue a T4A slip in the child’s name. That’s a new one for me.
What box is used on this slip? Perhaps the student received a bursary or scholarship to attend the school, coded in box 105, thus decreasing the tuition payments that otherwise would be required?
Typically, if the amount is small and doesn’t result in the child owing any tax, you wouldn’t have to file a return for the child. If it’s employment income, that’s different, as the child can use the income to start building RRSP deduction limit. If the parent is claiming the child as an eligible dependant, you may have to claim the child’s income on the parent’s tax return, thus decreasing the eligible dependant amount claimed. A lot of that would depend on what box is used on that T4A slip.

Hope this helps.


“The parents sent me her tuition fees”

That’s nice.

Perhaps these tax expert parents would also be so kind as to send you a copy of the Income Tax Act section describing what you should do with them other then to send it back to the parents with a note telling them that they have to pay their own child’s school fees…
You have the copy of the T4A - If you carefully read the T4A it should describe exactly what it is for.
If it is not correctly filled out, you should ask the clients to ask the slip issuer to correct it and issue an amended corrected one. An 8 year old with a SIN and a T4A is a situation that one would think would generate quite a bit of animated discussion…

The t4a the amount is on box 105, and it does have the child’s SIN# on it. So I guess it is a scholarship/ bursary. So it is none taxable anyway! Right

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Hi, Sherry …

In the guide, P105 - Students and income tax, it clearly states under the section,
Scholarships, fellowships, bursaries, and study grants (awards):

“Elementary and secondary school scholarships and bursaries are not taxable.”

Hope your tax season is going well.



As the former Treasurer of a private (non-religious) school:

  • if the parent is an employee of the school, the T4A is likely incorrectly issued and should be a taxable benefit to the parent if for tuition assistance or tuition rescission;
  • if the parent - ONLY if a non-employee of the school - merely received “tuition assistance” there should be no T4A to anyone;
  • the tuition fees MAY be deductible (tax-creditable really) if the school is a religious institution, is registered as a charity and provides significant religious instruction, in which case the “tuition receipt” should be a Charitable Donation Receipt properly issued;
  • there MAY be a qualifying portion as child care; this should be indicated on a separate receipt and not on the general receipt;
  • if the tuition fees are non-religious, non-child-care and non-charitable, they are also non-claimable