Dear Students,

I am writing this letter to express that Columbia College is listening to your concerns about how your Learning Income Support (including tuition) grants can impact your benefit eligibility.

To start with, I’m happy to note that the training tuition benefits you have received for attending Columbia College continues to qualify as a non taxable benefit. This means that you will not be required to pay taxes on your tuition. This information is outlined on the Alberta Government’s Memorandum sent on February 14th, 2022 entitled “2021 Tax Slips for Learners”:



The following information is regarding the 2021 tax slips that will have been issued for Learners who received Learner Income Support (including training benefits).

T4A – Full Time Employment Insurance and all Part Time Learners

Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity and Other Income tax slip was issued to all full-time Employment Insurance Learners and all part-time Learners.

T5007 – Full Time Non-Employment Insurance Learners

Statement of Benefits tax slip was issued to all full-time Non-Employment Insurance Learners. This tax slip was also issued to Full-Time Employment Insurance Learners if they received any of the following benefits in 2020:

  • Escaping Abuse
  • Transportation & Telephone – Escaping Abuse Benefits
  • Relocation Allowance
  • Handicap Benefit, or
  • Residential Addictions Treatment


For tuition based Learners, Box 196 on the T4A indicates the tuition amount. This means that Learners are no longer required to request or confirm their tuition amount from the training provider.

Income support and/or training benefits for January 2022 that were paid in December 2021 will be reflected on the Learner’s 2021 tax slip. Income support and/or training benefits for January 2022 that were paid in January 2022 will be reflected on the 2022 tax slip.

Tax slips for 2021 will be mailed by February 28, 2022. Please allow two weeks form this date before inquiring about tax slips not received. Learners who receive a tax slip are encouraged to consult with a tax professional to understand how the tax slip they received may affect their 2021 tax return.

The Tax Information for Learners in Training Programs Fact Sheet provides additional information to learners to ensure they are informed about potential tax impacts associated with receiving Learner Income Support and/or training benefits.



I would also like to share the Alberta Government’s “Tax Information for Learners in Training Programs“. This fact sheet provides students with information that you should share with your tax professional so that they can properly manage your tax slips and ensure that you are taking advantage of the non-taxable ‘Adult Basic Education Tuition Assistance Deduction’.

It is also important to note that if you do have questions about how to report your tax slip amounts on your income tax and you were unable to get this information from a tax professional, you can contact the Learner Income Support Office with the numbers above.

Please note that Columbia College is not responsible for the creation or distribution of the T4A or T5007 tax slips.


Can I get a T2202?

Canada Revenue does not allow us to provide students with a T2202 slip – as this slip is for post-secondary qualifying programs and not for the Basic Skills training that the English as an Additional Language program falls under.


Our students are eligible for the same non-taxable deduction that they would receive with a T2202 slip when they enter the tuition that is included on their T4A into box 196 in their tax return. Students with a T5007 would enter their information into box 25000.

Students do not pay tax on their training benefits (tuition) payments.


Do my Learner Income Support (including training benefits) Payments affect other Benefit Calculations?

We are aware that Learner Income Support (including tuition) payments provided by the Alberta Government on T4A and T5007 slips may affect overall benefit calculations for some learners. Currently, Canada Revenue does accept payments made to individuals for Adult Basic Education tuition assistance as qualifying for a non-taxable deduction. However, this non-taxable deduction is not applied prior to calculating an individual’s Adjusted Net Income amount. The Adjusted Net Income Amount is what is normally used to calculate an individual’s eligibility for different provincial and federal benefits.

We hear the frustration for those students who may be affected, and we agree with you that we need to find ways to work together to continue to communicate with the Alberta Government and Canada Revenue how this impacts the lives of low income Albertans.

What are we doing to help students?

  1. Columbia College is not permitted to generate T4A or T5007 slips, nor are we able to change Canada Revenue’s guidelines. What we are doing is sitting down with the Minister of Advanced Education and other Government officials later in April 2022 to discuss how the Adjusted Family Net Income total is a key figure used for calculating benefits, and how Learning Income Support (including tuition) can affect access to other benefits. We will be sharing specific examples of how this is impacting our students, and will stand alongside our students in strongly expressing the need to help find possible solutions to this problem.


  1. Columbia College will also be providing further information to new students when they first apply, as well as our current students when renewing their funding applications, to help answer key questions about how choosing different programs can impact their taxes. This will help clarify to students that they will not have to pay taxes on their tuition assistance payments; as well as show students where they can use Canada Revenue online calculators to estimate what impact different tuition amounts can have on other benefit calculations. This will help students determine what schools are the best fit for their personal situation.


  1. If students have received a T4A slip from the Government that does not include tuition, they can bring their T4A slip to the College and we can review it, and help work with the student on how they can contact the necessary government office to inquire about the tuition. Income reported on the T5007 tax slip is not taxable and does not require a separate tuition box.


  1. If students would like, we can also provide a letter that outlines the program that the student was registered in, their training dates, and the tuition that was paid to the College as part of the student’s approved funding application from the Government of Alberta. Students will need to provide a copy of their T4A or T5007 tax slip, as well as their FAD letters that they would have received by the Government. Please note, that this letter is not an official tax receipt, but rather a tuition summary of the 2021 training. Please contact your Admission Advisor or for more information if you would like a 2021 summary letter.


We appreciate your voice, and taking the time to express your frustration with how Learning Income Support (including tuition) payments impact your Adjusted Net Income totals. We are looking forward to our meeting with the Alberta Government representatives later in the month, and will be happy to share the outcomes from that meeting. In the meantime, we look forward to continuing to support your education goals, and to see you succeed in your courses and finish strong in the remainder of your semester.


Patrick Simmons