Tuition expense carryforward did not apply to a non-resident who moved to Canada
University and other post-secondary tuition costs are normally eligible for an income tax credit — 15% federally plus a provincial credit, usually worth 20-25% in total. Where the taxpayer does not have enough tax to pay for the year — as is often the case for university students — the tuition expense can be carried forward and claimed in a later year. Tuition paid to a university outside Canada generally qualifies.
In Marino, 2020 TCC 50, Mr. Marino was a U.S. resident, and he spent 10 years at various U.S. universities, paying over US$159,000 in tuition fees from 2002 to 2011.
In 2012, Mr. Marino moved to Calgary. He tried to claim the tuition carryforward on his Canadian income tax return, to create a credit against his Canadian tax otherwise payable. The CRA denied his claim, and he appealed.
The Tax Court of Canada dismissed the appeal. The Court ruled that these tuition expenses did not qualify, as Mr. Marino was outside the Canadian tax system when he incurred the tuition costs.