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Taxman giving away money to students

Most students wouldn’t place taxes at the top of their to-do list. But filing a tax return has its perks.

Most students wouldn’t place taxes at the top of their to-do list. But filing a tax return has its perks.

Students who have little or no income may wonder whether it’s worthwhile to even file a return if they don’t owe anything to the tax man. For one thing, at age 19 Canadians become eligible to collect a quarterly GST/HST credit. But no cheques will come in the mail if the government doesn’t have your tax information on hand.

There are a number of tax credits available, which cover tuition and many of the other expenses that come with student life.

Full-time students are eligible for a monthly $400 education credit and part-time students can get a $120 credit. They may also get a textbook tax credit of $65 for every month they qualify for the education amount, while part-timers can get $20 a month.

“That’s free money as far as I’m concerned,” said Cleo Hamel, a senior tax analyst with H&R Block. “You don’t have to save receipts. You actually don’t even have to buy any books.”

There are also tax credits for public transit passes, and even for the expense of moving more than 40 kilometres away for a summer job.

These breaks may not appear to be of any use to students who don’t need to pay taxes in the first place. But the credits can be carried over into the future, or transferred to a parent, grandparent or spouse.

 
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