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Teacher Credit

The “teacher credit,” formally known as the eligible educator school supply tax credit, is a significant provision in the Canadian tax system designed to support educators. This tax credit acknowledges the out-of-pocket expenses teachers and early childhood educators incur for teaching supplies. Understanding the legal framework and eligibility criteria for this tax credit is essential for educators to maximize their benefits.

The eligible educator school supply tax credit allows educators to claim a 15% refundable tax credit on up to $1,000 of eligible supplies expenses incurred within a taxation year. This provision translates to a maximum credit of $150 annually. To qualify, an individual must be employed in Canada as a teacher at an elementary or secondary school or as an early childhood educator at a regulated child care facility. Furthermore, the educator must hold a valid teaching certificate, license, permit, or diploma recognized in the province or territory of employment.

Eligible supplies expenses are defined as amounts paid by the educator within the taxation year for teaching supplies that are directly consumed or used in the performance of their employment duties. These supplies must be purchased for the purpose of teaching or facilitating students’ learning. Importantly, the educator cannot be entitled to reimbursement or any other form of assistance for these expenses, unless such amounts are included in their income and are not deductible in calculating their taxable income.

The definition of teaching supplies encompasses both consumable supplies and prescribed durable goods. Consumable supplies include everyday items used in classrooms, while prescribed durable goods are specified in Regulation 9600, including books, games, puzzles, containers, and educational support software.

A notable aspect of this tax credit is its adaptability to changing educational environments. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many classrooms transitioned to online platforms, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) clarified that educators could still claim the tax credit for supplies used in this context. This flexibility underscores the tax credit’s aim to support educators regardless of the teaching environment.

It’s also worth noting that the teacher credit is distinct from other education-related tax provisions, such as the education and textbook tax credits, which were available for students up to the 2016 tax year. The teacher credit specifically targets educators and their unique expenses, rather than students or their educational costs.

In summary, the teacher credit is a valuable tax provision for eligible educators, offering financial relief for the costs of teaching supplies. By understanding the eligibility criteria and the types of expenses that qualify, educators can ensure they fully benefit from this tax credit. This support not only acknowledges the financial contributions educators make towards their classrooms but also reinforces the importance of education and the role of teachers in fostering learning and development.


This information is for discussion purposes only and should not be considered professional advice. There is no guarantee or warrant of information on this site and it should be noted that rules and laws change regularly. You should consult a professional before considering implementing or taking any action based on information on this site. Call our team for a consultation before taking any action. ©2024 Shajani CPA.

Shajani CPA is a CPA Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer firm and provides Accountant, Bookkeeping, Tax Advice and Tax Planning service.

Nizam Shajani, Partner, LLM, CPA, CA, TEP, MBA

I enjoy formulating plans that help my clients meet their objectives. It's this sense of pride in service that facilitates client success which forms the culture of Shajani CPA.

Shajani Professional Accountants has offices in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. We’re here to support you in all of your personal and business tax and other accounting needs.