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What's the Canada Training Credit (CTC) and are You Eligible?

Written by Jessica Steer
Reviewed by Janessa Ellis
In Canada, if you’re attending school or taking training courses, you could be eligible for the Canada training credit. This credit is a new refundable tax credit and is designed to cover the costs of eligible training fees. 
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    In order to qualify for the Canada Training Credit, though, there are a few stipulations that you need to meet. Let’s take a look at who is eligible and what you need to qualify for this refundable credit. 

    Requirements for the CTC

    In order to qualify for the CTC, you need to meet some requirements.

    1. You must have filed your income tax and benefit return for the year.
    2. You must have a CTC limit of more than zero.
    3. You must have been a Canadian resident throughout the year. 
    4. You were between the ages of 26 and 66 during the year. 
    5. Any tuition and fees you had were also eligible for the tuition tax credit. 
    6. Any tuition fees were paid to an eligible educational institution or eligible institutions for occupational, trade or professional exams. 

    As long as you meet all of these requirements, then you can qualify. 

    How Much Can You Get from the CTC?

    How much you can qualify for with the Canada Training Credit is based on how much you’re requesting in eligible tuition fees and how much your lifetime limit is. This number is based on whether you qualify or not, which is determined by the CRA when you file your annual income tax return. As long as you qualify, you can receive up to $250 added to your credit amount every year until you reach the lifetime limit of $5000. 

    When you’re claiming your CTC tax credit, the amount that you’re eligible for is based on which amount is lower of these two things:

    1. What your total Canada Training Credit limit for the year.
    2. The cost of 50% of your total eligible tuition and fees paid to an eligible institution or fees paid for occupational, trade or professional examination fees and training programs.

    Who is Eligible for the Canada Training Credit

    While we’ve already discussed what conditions you need to meet to use your Canada Training Credit, what we haven’t mentioned is who is eligible to start receiving the CTC limit. Well, here’s the criteria you need to meet. 

    For 2019 and subsequent taxation years, as long as you meet the following criteria, you can receive the Canada Training Credit amount of $250 to go towards the following year and your total lifetime limit. Even if you’ve already used some of the CTC, you can still earn this amount. 

    1. You must be between the ages of 25 and 65.
    2. You must have filed your tax return for the tax year. 
    3. You must have been a Canadian resident for the taxation year.
    4. You must have a total net income of $10,000 or more. 
    5. You must have an individual net income for the year that isn’t more than the top third tax bracket.

    When it comes to your total net income of $10,000 or more, this income must come from specific sources. These include maternity and parental benefits and/or working income (which also includes scholarship income). 

    For your individual net income, the top third bracket is different every year. Let’s look at these amounts.

    Benefit YearEarning and Income Thresholds

    Where to Find Your CTC Limit

    If you’re unsure of your total limit for the Canada Training Credit, the best place to start is by looking at your Notice of Assessment (NOA). Suppose you don’t have your Notice of Assessment. In that case, you can find a copy of all of your NOAs for previous taxation years on your MyAccount with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or by contacting the CRA directly. 

    You may be wondering if your CTC can be found on your annual T4, but unfortunately, it can’t. This is because some people have more annual income than just their T4. The CTC is based on your total annual income, which the CRA will assess when you file your tax return. 

    With that in mind, though, the CTC program has only been around since 2020. This means that even if you’ve qualified every year since the program has been active, the highest CTC credit you will have on your latest NOA is $1,000. 

    How to Use the Canada Training Credit

    How you claim the Canada Training Credit will depend on how you file your taxes, but how it works is you claim the amount you spend on tuition and other fees, including admission fees and ancillary fees. You claim this amount against what your CTC credit amount is, and you’ll receive a tax credit based on those two amounts. This tax credit will be added to what you owe for your annual tax return and, depending on your tax situation, could result in a tax refund. 

    CTC for International Students

    Whether or not you’re able to qualify for the CTC as an international student depends on your tax situation. If you’re a working student, meet the eligibility criteria, and are considered a resident of Canada for tax purposes, then you’ll qualify. 

    Canada Training Credit Vs Tuition Credit

    In Canada, not only do you have the Canada Training Credit, but you also have the tuition tax credit. While both of these credits provide you tax relief if you’re a student, they are a bit different. 

    As we’ve already mentioned, the CTC gives you $250 annually until you reach the lifetime limit of $5,000, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. The Tuition Tax Credit is a bit different; however, the rules for eligible tuition and fees for the existing Tuition Tax credit are the same as the CTC, which means that the fees covered are tuition fees, ancillary fees, and examination fees. They even cover exemption fees for a certificate, diploma or degree. 

    The Tuition Tax credit is different because it’s available to anyone who was a student in the previous year, and the amount received is based on how much was spent on tuition. Essentially, how the tax credit works is how much you pay in tuition and tuition fees is multiplied by the lowest federal tax bracket. This percentage is 15%. This means 15% of your total eligible expenses are deducted from your annual tax bill. For many students, this results in a tax refund. If you’re a full-time student, then your refund can be pretty significant. 

    Eligible Institutions for the Canada Training Credit

    When it comes to whether or not you’re eligible to receive the CTC, a big part of that is the institution you’re taking your courses through. There are only certain institutions that are eligible for the CTC. These are:

    • Educational institutions in Canada that provide post-secondary level courses, including universities and colleges. 
    • Other educational institutions that provide occupational skills courses. This must be certified by the minister of education and social development to qualify. You can find the list of certified institutions online.

    Example of the CTC 

    When it comes time to claim your CTC, it can seem complex, but it’s actually quite simple. Let’s take a look at an example. 

    Let’s say you’ve been eligible for the tax credit since 2019, and you’re filing your 2023 taxes. This gives you a total limit of $1,000 with no previous Canada Training Credit claimed, and the total tuition you’re claiming is $6,000. 

    How much you can get is based on your total CTC amount or what 50% of your fees are. Since 50% is $3,000, then your CTC amount of $1,000 is lower. This allows you to get a tax refund of $1,000 using the CTC tax credit. This means that the total tuition amount that you claim is now $6,000 - $1,000, which is $5,000. 

    Keep in mind that this is only for the CTC; there are still the tuition tax credit provincial credits that you can apply for. 

    Final Thoughts

    In Canada, the CTC is just one of many tax credits that you can take advantage of as a student. As long as you meet the requirements for this program, you can qualify and save some extra money on your taxes. That said, even if you don’t qualify, there’s still the Tuition Tax Credit, as well as many other provincial credits that can help you save on your taxes. 

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