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: (i) Whether XXXXXXXXXX's PD Program catalogue is considered a specified educational program as defined in subsection 118.6(1); and (ii) Can the institution only issue T2202's when specifically requested by a student?
Position: (i) No; and (ii) No.
Reasons: (i) The definitions of qualifying and specified educational program refer to a program of study. The PD Program offered is more akin to a catalogue or inventory of courses and seminars available to members. (ii) A designated educational institution is required to issue a T2202 for each qualifying student.
Author: Wirag, Eric
Section: 118.6; Reg. 203
E. Wirag, CPA, CMA
March 12, 2020
Re: Specified educational programs
This is in reply to your letter which we received on September 12, 2019 where you are seeking confirmation of whether the Professional Development Program (PD Program) offered by XXXXXXXXXX is considered a specified educational program as defined in subsection 118.6(1) of the Income Tax Act (the Act). In addition, you would like our comments regarding when you should issue a T2202 Tuition and Enrolment Certificate. More specifically, whether you can issue a T2202 only when specifically requested by a member?
Our understanding from your website, is that XXXXXXXXXX members must fulfill hour requirements for continuous professional development (CPD) XXXXXXXXXX. Your website describes CPD as any learning that is applicable to a member’s work and professional responsibilities. There are no requirements of where a member must obtain their CPD hours.
A proportion of this CPD must be obtained through verifiable learning. This verifiable learning can include learning activities such as attending courses, webinars and e-learning, organized employer based learning sessions, participating, instructing or preparing for symposiums, conferences, seminars, writing and publishing of professional, technical or academic articles, papers or books, etc.
XXXXXXXXXX offers various professional development courses and seminars to members throughout the year as verifiable learning. You refer to this collection of courses and seminars as the PD Program. The PD Program contains approximately XXXXXXXXXX seminars and courses each year, and includes in-person seminars, live webinars, online self-study courses and executive learning programs. Each of these courses and seminars provides a XXXXXXXXXX member with hours towards completing their reporting requirements.
This technical interpretation provides general comments about the provisions of the 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.
A specified educational program, as defined in subsection 118.6(1), is one that would be a qualifying educational program if the requirement of a student spending not less than ten hours per week on courses or work in the program was not applied.
A qualifying educational program, as defined in subsection 118.6(1), is a program of not less than three consecutive weeks duration that provides each student in the program spend not less than ten hours per week on courses or work in the program. The program is one that is at an institution that is a designated educational institution, and generally, at a post-secondary school level that does not primarily consist of research. The definition states that a qualifying educational program does not include a program if the student receives any allowance, benefit, grant or reimbursement for expenses in respect of the program (other than a few noted exceptions) from a person with whom the student was dealing with at arm’s length, such as an employer.
It is our view that the term program in the definitions of qualifying educational program and specified educational program refers to a program of study. The PD Program offered appears to be more akin to a catalogue, or inventory, of learning products available to members, and not a program of study as contemplated by these definitions. Therefore, it appears that the PD Program as a whole, would not be considered a specified educational program.
You also asked whether members who are enrolled in several of these seminars or courses within the same calendar month, where the total hours for the combination of seminars or courses are more than 12 hours in that month, could meet the requirements of the definition of a qualifying student.
A qualifying student, as defined in subsection 118.6(1), for a month in a taxation year is, in the month:
(a) enrolled in a qualifying educational program as a full-time student at a designated educational institution, or
(b) an individual who is not described in (a) and is enrolled at a designated educational institution in a specified educational program that provides that each student in the program spend not less than 12 hours in the month on courses in the program.
Whether or not a member enrolled in any single course or seminar meets these requirements is a question of fact. The combination of various seminars or courses from the PD Program catalogue would also not likely be considered a program of study, and therefore would not meet the requirements of the definition of a qualifying student.
Designated educational institutions in Canada are required to file the T2202, Tuition and Enrolment Certificate to report the details of tuition fees paid and the duration of the related program for each qualifying student.
I trust the information I have provided is helpful.
Lita Krantz, CPA, CA
Manager, Tax Credits and Ministerial Issues
Business and Employment Division
Income Tax Rulings Directorate
Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch
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