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personal income tax return - few questions..

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  • Mar 9th, 2015 1:34 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 8, 2008
1703 posts
130 upvotes

personal income tax return - few questions..

Would appreciate some help.. My income tax return has been very simple in the past, and I've used studiotax every year to file. This year is a little different (currently living abroad) and I'm hoping for ways to double check some of the figures below - just to make sure I'm not messing up somewhere.

1. In 2014 I made less than my usual salary as I only worked 2/3 of the year and then took an unpaid leave to start studying full-time. When I entered my T4 data studiotax calculated a refund of $2,100 or so. Anyone know how I can check the math for this? I assume tax was deducted at my annual salary rate, although I made more than $25k less.

2. I started being a full-time student at a non-canadian institution for the last three months of 2014 and paid about $400 in total "tuition"/administrative costs to the university. When I enter $400 as tuition and 3 months as the duration for which I was studying FT, my refund goes up about $380? (about the same as what I paid)

3. Then, when I add $4300 as my RRSP contribution, my refund goes up about $1400

4. when I add $3300 as charity, my refund goes up by $1300

All in all I am getting more than $5000 as my refund.. it would be nice to double check this somehow?

I am especially unsure about 1 & 2, whereas 3 & 4 look more or less ok.

Thanks for any tips
8 replies
Deal Addict
Oct 29, 2010
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1. That is probably what happened, yes.

Number 2 is different, you need a T2202A form. I assume if this is an outsdie Canada institution, you would need to check with CRA if it even applies to you or not.
Look here: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/tchncl/ncmt ... 2-eng.html and go to "Educational institutions outside Canada", see if that applies to you.

Numbers 3 and 4 just lower your income level as far as i know.
Deal Addict
Jan 2, 2015
1408 posts
438 upvotes
Toronto, ON
leoben wrote:
Mar 7th, 2015 3:22 am
Would appreciate some help.. My income tax return has been very simple in the past, and I've used studiotax every year to file. This year is a little different (currently living abroad) and I'm hoping for ways to double check some of the figures below - just to make sure I'm not messing up somewhere.

1. In 2014 I made less than my usual salary as I only worked 2/3 of the year and then took an unpaid leave to start studying full-time. When I entered my T4 data studiotax calculated a refund of $2,100 or so. Anyone know how I can check the math for this? I assume tax was deducted at my annual salary rate, although I made more than $25k less.
Take a look at the payroll deduction tables. The employer removes income tax based on your pay for that pay period. If you made exactly the same per paycheque and then suddenly stopped working, your employer probably took off too much tax. (The table "assumes" you'll be making the same amount per paycheque for the whole year.)

Despite the dizzying array of numbers they're not hard to figure out.

Link: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/ ... u-eng.html (I think that's the 2015 table, but there's been little change)
2. I started being a full-time student at a non-canadian institution for the last three months of 2014 and paid about $400 in total "tuition"/administrative costs to the university. When I enter $400 as tuition and 3 months as the duration for which I was studying FT, my refund goes up about $380? (about the same as what I paid)
There's an international equivalent of the T2202. Yes, that actually makes some sense. If your tuition is small, your education and textbook amounts add up to a lot. Note that you get a federal and provincial credit, both of which have education and textbook amounts. Federally, as a full-time student, you get $400 of education amount per month and $65 of textbook amounts per month, so $1395 of federal credits before tuition. How did you go to school three months full time and only pay $400 tuition? In any event, assuming you did things right, you get $1795 of federal credits, or $269 of federal refund (15% credit). I don't know what province you're in, so I can't do the provincial calculations.

I used Schedule 11 to do the calculations.
3. Then, when I add $4300 as my RRSP contribution, my refund goes up about $1400
We don't know your income, but you effectively remove income for tax calculation purposes when you contribute to an RRSP. It depends on your tax bracket, but you can get a large refund that way.
4. when I add $3300 as charity, my refund goes up by $1300
Unlike most other federal tax credits, you get (beyond the first $200) a 29% federal tax credit. You might also be taking advantage of the first time donor super credit. (The program tends to ask questions about that.)
All in all I am getting more than $5000 as my refund.. it would be nice to double check this somehow?

I am especially unsure about 1 & 2, whereas 3 & 4 look more or less ok.

Thanks for any tips
Based on the info I've gotten from you, I'm confident about 2, 3 and 4. Whatever it says on your T4 will be accepted by the CRA.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 8, 2008
1703 posts
130 upvotes
Thanks a lot for the helpful replies!

and regarding the low tuition fees - I am studying at a university outside of canada where there is no tuition and just minor semester fees -- which I believe counts as "eligible tuition fees" according to http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/tchncl/ncmt ... tml#N107FD

just wondering, in case i submit my return this way and CRA refuses to give me tuition credit, what's the worst that could happen? just lower my refund?
Deal Addict
Jan 2, 2015
1408 posts
438 upvotes
Toronto, ON
The CRA might refuse the tuition credits up to three years after the assessment. They'll first ask for proof. If they say no, you have to pay back the refund with interest.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 8, 2008
1703 posts
130 upvotes
With interest..? that's kind of unfair if they come back to you after three years and ask for interest on top of the amount ..
Deal Addict
Oct 29, 2010
4271 posts
624 upvotes
leoben wrote:
Mar 9th, 2015 11:04 am
With interest..? that's kind of unfair if they come back to you after three years and ask for interest on top of the amount ..
They assume that you know what you are doing without having someone check up on you.
Deal Addict
Mar 8, 2013
2446 posts
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leoben wrote:
Mar 9th, 2015 11:04 am
With interest..? that's kind of unfair if they come back to you after three years and ask for interest on top of the amount ..
You are talking about $400 in credits for this year, right? How much interest would there be on associated tax savings, even after three years. flafson has given you a link to check. If after reading there, you are reasonably sure that you are eligible to claim the $400, then do it and keep all the paperwork. CRA will not claim it for you.
Sr. Member
Dec 22, 2014
766 posts
244 upvotes
Regina, SK
FoFai2015 wrote:
Mar 9th, 2015 8:13 am
The CRA might refuse the tuition credits up to three years after the assessment. They'll first ask for proof. If they say no, you have to pay back the refund with interest.
To be fair, if you made a mistake and it is in your favour, they would pay interest to you. This counts whether they initiate the review or you submit amendment yourself. The rates tend to be pretty good too (compared to what is out there), it is almost tempting to 'miss' a few credits on purpose with the initial submission.

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