From 2010-2012, I was a full-time university student for at least a few months of each year. I don’t know much about how that changes things at tax time in the U.S. or around the world, but in Canada, your tuition is claimed (via your T2202A tax receipt) with your personal income tax return and can lead to a serious refund (a.k.a. cash back in your pocket!).
In 2010, I was a full-time student for 6 months, and my tax refund was:
In 2011, I was a full-time student for 12 months, so my tax refund went up to:
In 2012, I was only a full-time student for 6 months, so it went down to:
My 2011 and 2012 refunds went straight to debt: that’s $4,400+ that helped me wipe out more than 15% of what I originally owed. I’ve called those two tax refunds “the game changers” before, because that’s exactly what they were. And I knew I wouldn’t get anything close to that amount back this year, but I also wasn’t expecting to see this when I filed last week:
I know I shouldn’t complain about getting a $400+ refund; I’ll be putting every penny of that in my RRSP (to make up for what I couldn’t save this month), so it’s still being put to good use. It’s just hard to swallow the fact that my tuition credits are finally over and done with. (Yes, I even called CRA to double-check that I didn’t have any unused credits, haha.)
Have you filed your taxes yet? Are you getting a refund or will you owe money this year?