non-Refundable Tax Credit - Tuition

Hi All. I have had about 50k in tuition non-refundable tax credits for all the fees I had paid from 2013. This year, when I filed my income tax, I was sent a check for this credit (but much much lower than the credit), and my carry forward non-refundable tax credit is set zero now. I assumed I would have to receive refunds as much as the credits I had on file. I called the CRA, they tried to help but I was not convinced. They said “we do some calculations on our side which are not publicly available” but the bottom line was that the non-refundable tax credit is not dollor-for-dollar and that is why I received a lower amount. Can anyone comment on this? Is it what it should be like? or for some reason my credits are lost without good reason.

You never get :100: % credit amount as refund. When you don’t have full understanding of taxes, you should take a professional help. Don’t know if you filed your tax return right or wrong.


The credit is calculated at the lowest tax bracket rate federally and provincially (when/where still available). If you move from one province/territory to another, your tuition does not transfer to your new location.

The Federal tuition tax credit is only 15%. Depending what province you are in, there may be a provincial component but not in Ontario.

Tax brackets change. I remember when the lowest federal rate was 16%.

@helga_spence But wouldn’t the rate be the one applicable in the year you claim the credit? This year (2022), it’s 15%.

Yes, but my answer covers ALL years: past, now, and future.

A non-refundable tax credit reduces the amount of tax you pay on your taxable income. You will not get money back from a non-refundable tax credit, but you can use it to offset how much you will pay. Suggest you google for a more detailed explanation.