Deduct flight training on your taxes

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) offers a tax credit for costs incurred by a student during flight training through its TL11B – Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts Certificate – Flying School or Club form. Let’s take a look at some of the eligibility criteria!

Flying equals money

First, the student (that’s you) must be “16 years of age or older before the end of the year” in which you’re claiming the tax credit. If you’re thinking “Why would a 16 year-old need a tax credit?” I’ll give you two answers: mommy and daddy. The student can authorize a transfer of the tuition, education and textbook amounts to one person. That person can be “spouse or common-law partner, your parent or grandparent, or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s parent or grandparent.” Check out Part 4 on page two of the TL11B form for all the details.

The tuition fees you claim must be more than $100. Pretty straightforward there. Tacked on to that point though is the claiming of private licence instruction time. PPL training time can only be claimed at the same time as commercial training time. So you’ll have to hold on to this form for a bit longer, at least until you have some commercial flight time under your belt. Keep in mind though that you won’t be able to carry over the full amount (don’t ask me why, I don’t know. I’m just interpreting this document.) According to Part 3 of the form, you must “Complete Schedule 11, Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts, to calculate […] the amount, if any, you can carry forward to a future year.”

The program you are claiming full-time credit for must be at least 3 consecutive weeks long and require a minimum of 10 hours of course instruction per week. For the part-time education amount, the program must last at least 3 weeks and requires a minimum of 12 hours of course instruction each month.

Finally, the tuition fees you claim must include “include the cost of dual and solo flying hours […] up to the minimum flight training requirements of Transport Canada.” So you can only claim about 45 hours in total.

In addition to knowing how much money you spent and how many hours you’ve flown, you also need the following to submit the form:

  • the name of the FTU
  • the FTU’s address
  • an authorized officer’s (CFI, owner, etc.) name and signature
  • your signature and social insurance number

I hope I’ve shed some light on how to deduct your flight training costs from your taxes. If you’ve got any questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability.

The TL11B is available in PDF format from the CRA site.