Tax time is just around the corner and for many students, a tax refund is a god-send. But how do you know you’re getting the most out of your tax return? Here are some tricks and tips to get the biggest tax-return possible.
Employers are required to send employees a Statement of Remuneration Paid (T4 form) by the end of February. This form will tell you and the Canada Revenue Agency how much money you made from working and how much tax and other deductions (like Canada Pension Plan) were taken. This form will help you fill out the TD1 tax form and file for a return, or figure out how much tax you owe to the government.
For a lot of students, especially those of us who don’t work, or only hold down a part time job during school, taxes may not even be an issue. In Canada, each person is entitled to a basic personal amount. That’s the amount of money you’re allowed to make without paying taxes on it.
For 2013, the federal amount is $11,038 and $9,388 at the provincial level.
If you’re making more than the basic personal amount, there are a number of tax credits that can help students get the most money back.
With the student loans tax credit, Canadians are entitled to deduct the interest they pay on their student loans. Since many of us don’t pay interest on student loans while we’re still in school, this credit is something to keep in mind after graduation. It only applies to government student loans, so private loans (such as a student line of credit from a private bank) are exempt.
If you’re a full time student at a designated educational institute (UNBSJ counts!), the full time education credit allows you to claim $400 for every month of the year that you are attending school. Part time students are permitted to claim $120 for every month. On top of this tuition credit, you can claim $65 per month with the textbook tax credit.
Students should also know that any scholarships and bursaries they may have are tax exempt.
For anyone having difficulty navigating their tax return forms, many tax companies in the city offer competitive rates for students. There are also a number of free tax programs to help, such as TurboTax.
UNBSJ will be offering a tax clinic which UNBSJ business students can volunteer for. Dates and times for this event will be announced soon. Check back to www.thebaron.ca for the later date.