Education Tax Credits Disproportionately Benefited Top Earners, PBO Says

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OTTAWA — A new report by the federal budget watchdog says Canada's highest-earning families benefited disproportionately from non-refundable tax credits for post-secondary education.

The parliamentary budget officer says in 2015, families that were among the top 20 per cent of earners received 37.7 per cent of the total credits for education, textbook and tuition expenses.

The report says over the last decade, those top-earning households have received a larger chunk of the credits.

jeandenisfrechette

Parliamentary Budget Officer Jean-Denis Frechette. A report from Frechette's office says Canada's highest-earning families benefited disproportionately from non-refundable tax credits for post-secondary education. (Canadian Press photo)

The analysis says while the highest-earning families claimed the majority of the tax relief, the per-family benefits were more evenly distributed regardless of income.

The report says even though education is generally a provincial responsibility, the federal government contributed $12.3 billion to post-secondary education in 2013-14.

It also says in 2011 Canada spent 2.8 per cent of its gross domestic product on post-secondary education — more than any other OECD country.

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