Can I claim tutoring expenses on my CRA income tax return? Good news, the answer is YES! This is because the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) considers “tutoring services of a person with a learning disability as an eligible Medical Expense.”
The CRA definition says:
Tutoring services that are additional to the primary education of a person with a learning disability or an impairment in mental functions, and paid to a person in the business of providing these services to individuals who are not related to the person. A medical practitioner must certify in writing that these services are needed.
See this CRA link for this definition: Eligible Medical Expenses and Tutoring Services
In CRA lingo, Medical Expenses are Non-Refundable Tax Credits. This type of tax credit is used to reduce the amount of tax you would otherwise pay. Therefore, to benefit from this credit you must have tax payable.
Be aware, Non-Refundable means, CRA won’t refund the tutoring expenses you’ve paid. This medical expense credit can only be used as a credit against taxes owing.
What do I need to claim tutoring expenses?
Tutoring expenses fall under CRA’s list of “other medical expenses”, such as vision care, prescriptions, orthodontics, etc. To claim tutoring on your tax return, you will need:
- receipts and,
- a written letter from a medical practitioner (not related to you) to certify that the tutoring services are required.
The CRA list of medical practitioners includes psychologists, speech pathologists, audiologists, etc. Visit this link to find out Where to claim eligible medical expenses on your tax return.
Could I claim the CRA Disability Tax Credit or the Child Disability Tax Benefit?
If the person has no other disabilities, other than a learning disability (such as dyslexia), then they are unlikely to qualify for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC). For more information, visit this link: Eligibility Criteria for the Disability Tax Credit.
To qualify for the Child Disability Benefit (CTB), the child must first meet the eligibility requirements for the DTC. Similarly, with no other disabilities present, other than a learning disability (such as dyslexia), the child is unlikely to qualify for the CTB. For more information, visit this link: CRA’s Child Disability Benefit explanation.
If you have further questions about tutoring and taxes, please consult the CRA website or call CRA for more information.
In the meantime, I wish you smooth and speedy sailing when completing your 2021 CRA Income Tax Return.
Feel free to review our popular past Tutoring and Taxes blog posts:
Marion May is the Blog Curator and Content Writer for The Open Door blog as well as a reading and spelling tutor for The Open Door, tutoring children between the ages of seven and 10. Her blog content is “local, organic and specific” and is relevant for parents of children with dyslexia.
Marion formerly tutored teenaged students in a literacy remediation program at Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School in Ottawa. She also worked as a paid fundraiser and grant proposal writer for The Excellence in Literacy Foundation, a national non-profit aimed at helping marginalized youth. She began her career in radio broadcasting and news writing and has worked in the area of promotional writing for several federal government departments and agencies, including the National Research Council.
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