2019-0815841E5 Educational institution

Please note that the following document, although believed to be correct at the time of issue, may not represent the current position of the CRA. Prenez note que ce document, bien qu'exact au moment émis, peut ne pas représenter la position actuelle de l'ARC.

Principal Issues: Whether a secondary school that provides courses at a post-secondary level could be considered an educational institution as described in subparagraph 118.5(1)(a)(i).

Position: Question of fact, but likely yes.

Reasons: Where a secondary school provided courses at a post-secondary school they could be considered an educational institution as described in subparagraph 118.5(1)(a)(i).

Author: Brennan, Christopher

Section: 118.5(1), 118.5(1.1)

XXXXXXXXXX                                                                     2019-081584
                                                                                             Chris Brennan, CPA, CA
January 28, 2020


Re: Educational institution

This is in reply to your letter wherein you have requested our comments on whether a XXXXXXXXXX secondary school, that provides International Baccalaureate Higher Level courses, could be an educational institution as described in subparagraph 118.5(1)(a)(i) of the Income Tax Act (Act).

This technical interpretation provides general comments about the provisions of the Income Tax Act and related legislation (where referenced).  It does not confirm the income tax treatment of a particular situation involving a specific taxpayer but is intended to assist you in making that determination.  The income tax treatment of particular transactions proposed by a specific taxpayer will only be confirmed by this Directorate in the context of an advance income tax ruling request submitted in the manner set out in Information Circular IC 70-6R9, Advance Income Tax Rulings and Technical Interpretations.

Paragraph 2.5 of Income Tax Folio S1-F2-C2, Tuition Tax Credit (the “Tuition Folio”) sets out that, for purposes of subparagraph 118.5(1)(a)(i) of the Act, there is no all-inclusive list of universities, colleges or other educational institutions in Canada providing courses at a post-secondary school level. It further sets out that an educational institution is not ineligible under subparagraph 118.5(1)(a)(i) solely by reason of the fact that it provides other courses in addition to post-secondary school level courses.

It would be a question of fact whether a particular educational institution is offering courses at a post-secondary level. However, where there is evidence that a university or college is prepared to accept a particular course as equivalent to a post-secondary school course offered by that college or university, that course could be considered to be at a post-secondary level. Therefore, it is our view that where XXXXXXXXXX secondary schools are providing courses at a post-secondary level, they would likely be considered an educational institution as described in subparagraph 118.5(1)(a)(i) of the Act.

Yours truly,


Lita Krantz, CPA, CA
Manager, Tax Credits and Ministerial Issues
Business and Employment Division
Income Tax Rulings Directorate

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