Teachers in Canada, often, have to fund their classroom supplies. In 2016, the Government of Canada introduced a new refundable tax credit, the ‘Eligible Educator School Supply Tax Credit’, that teachers could claim on their 2016 tax return and beyond.

If you are an eligible educator in Canada, you can now claim this 15% refundable tax credit on up to $1,000 of school supply purchases per year. The following is a brief overview of this Canadian tax benefit for teachers, and how to claim it on your Canadian income tax return.


Canada’s Eligible Educator School Supply Tax Credit


The ‘Eligible Educator School Supply Tax Credit’ is a 15% refundable tax credit that qualifying educators in Canada can claim on up to $1,000 of out-of-pocket school supply purchases made by them per year.

Who is an eligible educator?

The credit is available to  teachers or early childhood educators employed at an elementary or secondary school or a regulated child care facility.  You must have a teacher’s certificate or a certificate or diploma in early childhood education that is valid in the province or territory where you are employed.

Expenses That Qualify for The ‘Educator School Supply Tax Credit’?

For your supplies to be eligible for this credit, they must be purchased in the taxation year.

For example, if you purchase supplies in December 2017 that are not used your classroom until January 2018, you may still claim the expense on your 2017 tax return (2018 tax season).  The purchase date, rather than the date when the supplies are used, is the basis for this credit.

In addition, the supplies must:

  • be used in a school or in a regulated child care facility for teaching or helping students learn.
  • not reimbursable and not subject to an allowance or other form of assistance (unless the reimbursement, allowance or assistance is included in the income of the teacher or educator and not deductible).
  • not deducted or used in calculating a deduction from any person’s income for any taxation year.

Some examples of eligible supplies include:

  • construction paper;
  • flashcards;
  • items for science experiments such as seeds, potting soil, vinegar, baking soda and stir sticks;
  • art supplies such as glue, scissors and paint;
  • various writing materials

NOTE: You CANNOT claim amounts paid for durable items such as computer, tablets.  The only durable items eligible to be claimed are:

  • games and puzzles;
  • books for the classroom;
  • containers such as plastic boxes or banker boxes; and
  • educational support software.

Documents Required To Claim The ‘Educator School Supply Tax Credit’

If you claim this tax credit, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may ask you to provide a certification from your employer attesting to the eligible supplies expense. You should request the certification from your employer in a timely manner and keep it in your files, along with the receipts, in case the CRA requests for it.

The certification should be a statement signed by the individual’s employer, or delegated official of the employer, that provides and attests (to the best of their knowledge) to the amount paid for eligible teaching supplies purchased in the year were:

  • purchased by the eligible teacher or early childhood educator;
  • for the purpose of teaching or facilitating students’ learning;
  • directly consumed or used in an elementary or secondary school or in a regulated child care facility in the performance of the individual’s employment duties; and
  • not reimbursable, not subject to an allowance or other form of assistance (unless the reimbursement, allowance or assistance is included in the income of the teacher or educator and not deductible), and not deducted or used in calculating a deduction from any person’s income for any taxation year.

As the new school year begins, teachers should maintain proper documents, and obtain the certificate necessary to claim this teachers tax credit at their earliest to avoid any trouble during tax filing season.

Learn about Canadian Tax Deductions & Credits for Students



If you have any tax-related queries, need assistance with tax planning or filing your tax returns please contact us. Our team comprises of highly experienced tax professionals with extensive knowledge of US and Canadian tax laws as well as cross-border compliance.

Furthermore, as a full service accounting firm, AG Tax assures complete assistance with even your most complex tax needs.

We can assist with:

  • Canadian Personal and corporate tax returns
  • Cross Border Taxation and Business Planning
  • US Personal and Corporate Taxation
  • Disclosure of Foreign Assets and other information filings
  • Retirement planning
  • Estate Planning, Inheritance tax advice

To obtain a quote or to arrange for a tax consultation to discuss your US Canada cross border tax  queries, please contact us at:

  • 604-538-8735 (Greater Vancouver Area, BC)
  • 780-702-2732 (Greater Edmonton Area, AB)


Disclaimer: The information in this publication is accurate as of the time of its publication. AG Tax assumes no responsibility for changes to tax legislation subsequent to the publication of this document. The information provided is for general information purposes only and should not be acted upon without seeking professional advice. If you would like to engage our services, please contact our staff and obtain authorization to send our firm confidential information. A client relationship is not created by the transmission of information. A client relationship is only formed with our firm when a scope and engagement letter signed by the firm and the potential client detailing the terms of engagement is present.