The Graduate Retention Program (GRP) benefits remain fully in place, with graduates eligible for up to $20,000 in tax rebates. If a graduate is paying provincial income tax, they will receive the benefit. Depending on their circumstances, graduates could pay little to no provincial income tax over the next 10 years after they graduate if they stay and work in Saskatchewan.
The GRP is now an entirely non-refundable tax credit. The changes to the GRP will take effect for the 2015 tax year, so there will be no impact on recipients currently filing their taxes for the 2014 tax year.
The GRP rebate is applied against provincial income taxes. The majority of current recipients already claim their GRP benefit this way, and will see no change as long as they continue paying provincial income tax at a similar level.
For graduates who are not able to apply the full amount of their annual tuition rebate against their income taxes, the unused portion will carry over and be added to the next year’s instalment. Graduates will also now have 10 years to claim their entire tuition rebate under the GRP.
For example, if you are a single person and make $36,000 in income, you would pay around $2000 in provincial income tax. If you earned a degree and paid over $20,000 in tuition, you would collect $2000 from the GRP tax rebate in your first year of eligibility. The GRP credit would reduce the $2,000 in provincial income tax payable down to $0. If you made less than $36,000, any unused portion of that $2000 can be used in future tax years.
The changes to the GRP affect all recipients, including those that may have graduated in previous years. There is no grandfathering for current recipients.
The GRP remains one of the most aggressive retention programs in the country. It has shown to be effective with more than 58,000 graduates receiving more than $200 million in tuition rebates. I am confident this will continue to be an important program for graduates going forward.
For further questions, please visit www.saskatchewan.ca/grp or call 1-800-597-8278.
Minister of Advanced Education