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Tax benefits students should know

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By Natasha Hermann 

Sending away documents to a professional seems like an easy way to receive your income tax, but how easy is it to trust strangers with your money? And why pay for the money you deserve anyway?

Here is what you should be looking for in your tax return this year:

· Tuition fees over $100 can be claimed for an education tax credit. RAMMS provides students with two forms, T2202A, which is a certificate for tuition, education and textbook amounts, and a T4A, which provides information about any scholarships, and other help towards payment.

· Full-time postsecondary students can claim moving expenses if their new residence is 40 k.m. closer to school. You can claim transportation, utility-cancelling fees or connecting fees, and storage expenses. This does need to be your new permanent residence. You can claim these expenses from the beginning of each academic period. Fill out a T1-M form for each move.

· Keep your transit passes and receipts. The passes are only valid if they provide you with unlimited travel for more than five days, or if you buy enough for at least 20 days in a 28-day period. You can claim four weekly passes for a month, monthly passes or yearly passes. In regards to electronic payment cards, you must travel at least 32 times in 31 days. You also need a receipt that produces the cost and usage of the card.

· Make sure you are receiving the GST/HST credit if you are over the age of 19. This credit gives you a payment four times a year.

· Make sure that you have your T4s from work. You need separate T4s for each payroll accounts. All you need to do is fill in the numbers that correspond with the tax return form.

· Students living in residence can claim a flat tax credit of $25. Other students can claim the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit if you have low or middle income. This year you can claim up to $784 to help with property taxes and $224 for energy tax.

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