Canadian student in the U.S. - tuition - international

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 Sent: Sunday, December 25, 2005 8:27 PM
To: taxman at
Subject: Canadian student in the U.S. - tuition
Hi David -
I sure would appreciate your opinion on this one.
I am a Canadian student at a community college (not a university)
in the U.S. My visa status is F-1. I am working towards an
Associate degree, not a Bachelor's degree.
Can I deduct my tuition fees on my Canadian income tax? Form
TL11A is titled "Tuition and Education Amounts Certificate -
University Outside Canada" and I sure hope that it applies to me
even though I am at a community college.
The other form - TL11D - is for a deemed resident of Canada, and
seems to include both universities and colleges. Would I be
considered a "deemed resident"? I am away for a few years but
will be returning to Canada at the end of my course.
There has to be some way that I can claim $8000 of tuition fees
against my Canadian income!
Thanks for your help!
david ingram replies:
If you are commuting to the US college, you can deduct the
tuition on form TL11C   However, I get the idea that you are in
living in the USA and if so, you can not be commuting on a daily
If you are living in the US and not commuting, then only tuition
paid to a University is deductible.  Some US colleges are on a
CRA list which gives them University status.  It really depends
upon whether or not they have a degree program and not just a
Diploma program.
The CRA now refers to the  "Accredited Institutions of
Postsecondary Education" published by the American Council on
Education, which we use as an authority when determining whether
an educational institution in the United States is recognized for
purposes of paragraph 118.5(1)(b) or 118.5(1)(c), respectively
You can find the American Council on Education at - However, I
expect that your institution knows already whether or not it is
on the "List".
The Big question is whether you are a deemed or factual resident
of Canada. Although most of the time, Canadian Students in the
USA ARE deemed residents of Canada, that usually occurs where
they have kept their Provincial health plan alive, have kept
their provincial driver's licence and have their car registered
in their home province.
If, on the other hand, you are going to school in Phoenix (or
anywhere else in the US), have purchased or joined a local health
plan, taken out an Arizona driver's licence and car licence and
are intending to stay in the US after graduation, then you may no
longer be a deemed resident of Canada and not taxable in Canada.
Since you mention Canadian Income however, there are other
problems.  If it is earned income because you are still
consulting to Canadian businesses, it may or may not be taxable
in Canada.  If you are doing all the work in the US, it would not
be taxable in Canada if you are a resident of the US.
If it is taxable in Canada, the $8,000 of tuition is not
deductible if you are going to a non-accredited college.
You should likely consult  someone like myself  about your
residential status.
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