OTTAWA, May 7, 2012 /CNW/ - Canada's Taxpayers' Ombudsman, Mr. J. Paul Dubé, today called on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to determine students' eligibility for tuition tax credits according to the legislation, and not solely on its own internal procedures.
"Canadian students attending university are eligible to apply for a tax credit for their tuition costs, even if that university is outside Canada," said Mr. Dubé. "I recommend the CRA take steps to help ensure that students attending university outside Canada are treated fairly when they apply for the tuition tax credit."
The Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman received complaints from students at universities outside Canada who said their applications for the tuition tax credit were unfairly denied by the CRA. The Ombudsman's investigation found that the CRA does not always assess claims based on the criteria in the Income Tax Act, but instead relies on its internal lists of eligible institutions. The Ombudsman also heard that students receive inconsistent information from the CRA about these lists and how they can obtain a copy.
"The Government of Canada offers this tax credit to encourage young Canadians to seek post-secondary education," said Mr. Dube. "Canadian students who choose to study abroad should be entitled to the same level of service and fairness from the CRA."
To view the report or obtain further information on the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman, visit www.oto-boc.gc.ca.
For further information:
Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman