Are millennials leaving tax credits on the table?

 

How to ensure you get what’s yours this tax season

We all know adulting is hard, but adulting can be even harder for millennials – and not just because it’s a new thing for them. With the average student debt at $26,819 and housing costs eating up a large portion of income, millennials may be wondering what this “financial freedom” concept is they heard about growing up. The good news – yes, there is some! – is that while the path towards it may look different than it did for their parents, it still exists! And one way towards achieving it is to take advantage of the tax credits available.

There are a number of tax credits we often see millennials miss, which ultimately means less money in their pockets.

Tuition expenses

The tuition credit is the king of tax breaks for students! So, every student should track down their T2202A form, which outlines tuition fees paid that year. Don’t need to use the full amount of credits this year? The unused portion can be transferred to a parent or grandparent. In a scenario where mom, dad, grandma and grandpa are doing just fine financially these credits could instead be hoarded until after graduation, when extra money in the form of a tax refund is much needed.

Moving expenses

Moving more than 40 kilometres to attend post-secondary school full-time or to run a business? If so, there could be the opportunity to expense transportation and storage, travel, temporary living, and incidental costs, such as utility disconnections. However, there are some restrictions attached to this to keep in mind: those who claim moving expenses must be full-time students, recipients of a taxable scholarship, research grant or prize, or have employment income.

Public transit expenses

Though this tax credit was eliminated half way through 2017, if public transit was used to get to school in the first half of 2017, those passes and receipts can be claimed. These must be month-long transit passes or weekly passes that were purchased four weeks in a row. In the case of electronic payment systems, cards like Presto may qualify if at least 32 one-way trips were purchased 31 days in a row. Take advantage of this credit while the getting’s good!

Professional or union dues

Scored a great job after graduation and it required membership to a professional board or union? If there are associated fees, you may be eligible for a credit. Fees that can be claimed range from yearly dues for members of a trade union or association of public servants, dues paid to a professional board as required by provincial or territorial law, keeping a legal professional status in the eyes of the law and more.

 

Overall, tax breaks are a doozy. While some of the more common credits available to millennials are included above, there many more. We encourage all Canadians to be aware of tax credits they could qualify for when they’re getting ready to file and ask questions if they’re unsure. An H&R Block Tax Expert is always available to chat. For more information, visit one of H&R Block’s offices or online at www.hrblock.ca.