Principal Issues: Two educational institutions (“Institution A” and “Institution B”) jointly deliver XXXXXXXXXX courses with each institution carrying out certain functions. Each institution determines the quantum of the registration fee required for its particular functions. It is our understanding that the courses are not at a post secondary level for the purposes of subparagraph 118.5(1)(a)(ii.1) of the Act as they are available to a student as long as the student is at least 18 years of age. Institution A, which collects the registration fee and remits the relevant portion to Institution B is described in subparagraphs 118.5(1)(a)(i) and (ii) (i.e., certified by the Minister of Human Resources Development) of the Act, while Institution B is described in subparagraph 118.5(1)(a)(ii) of the Act.
Institution A promotes the courses, purchases the course material (including books), hires instructors from a list provided by Institution B, provides examination supervisors, and provides the facilities where the examinations are written and the courses are taught. Institution B prepares and marks the examinations, prepares the instructors, and develops the courses. We have been asked whether a receipt for income tax purposes (i.e, the tuition tax credit) can be issued with respect to these costs. We have also been asked whether the cost of a license charged to a student by Institution B can be included on the receipt.
Position: The receipt should not include the cost of the course material and books, or the cost of the license. The fact that a portion of the fees to be charged in respect of courses are determined by reference to the costs of developing courses and preparing instructors, would not, in an by itself, prevent the fees from being regarded as being tuition.
Reasons: It is the Department’s general position that “tuition” refers to instruction. Also, see paragraphs 26 to 28 of IT-516R2. It is also noted that the circumstances of this situation (including the point that only one institution would issue a tuition receipt for income tax purposes in respect of tuition fees relating to both institutions) were discussed with Diane Waterfield of the Assessing and Collections Directorate who did not feel that there were any problems. Ms. Waterfield also confirmed that XXXXXXXXXX has been certified. XXXXXXXXXX has confirmed, in a telephone conversation, that XXXXXXXXXX has also been certified.