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Van Helden: private piano lessons not eligible for tuition tax credit

Under subsection 118.5(1) of the Income Tax Act, an individual taxpayer may claim a tax credit in respect of certain qualifying tuition fees. Pursuant to paragraph 118.5(1)(a), the following requirements apply: (i) the student must be enrolled at an educational institution in Canada; (ii) that educational institution must be a university, college or ‘other educational institution’; and (iii) the educational institution must provide courses at a post-secondary-school level. Tuition credits may be transferred to a parent or grandparent under section 118.9 of the ITA. (See also Income Tax Folio S1-F2-C2 ‘Tuition Tax Credit’ [March 2013]).

In Van Helden v The Queen (2014 TCC 196), the taxpayer had claimed the tuition credit in respect of fees paid for weekly private piano lessons for his two daughters…

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