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7 Ways 2020 Is Still Messing With Students and Your Money

Written by Connor Briggs-Morris

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

2020 your taxes student

If you thought the changing state of the world was a headache before, wait until you see how everything that happened to you in 2020 will affect your taxes. This might not be the year to do them yourself.

2020 was a…


Blessing in disguise? 


We’d use some choice language to describe being a student in 2020 but since there are some adults around, we’ll just settle for a polite ????.

Speaking of, those adults in question? They’re our friends, the tax experts at H&R Block. Every year, we like to work together to help you get the most money possible on your tax returns but this year is particularly… frustrating exhausting confusing.

You see, 2020 might be over, but all the money that came and went will still affect your taxes this year. If any of the following factors affected you, it’s best to get some help from the pros at H&R Block to make sure you get what’s yours.


The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) came in clutch last year. They offered serious relief and hopefully helped you out, but if you look closely, you’ll notice there were strings attached.

The biggest thing to note is that they’re subject to a 10% withholding tax, meaning that if you received either benefit, you may actually end up owing a portion of what they paid you back to them. Fingers crossed you kept some aside.

Worked From Home

What might have been a pain throughout last year (and still a pain today) could end up paying off for you. Special tax deductions of up to $400 exist based on how much time you’ve spent working from home this year or if you’ve had to invest in any special materials to make that possible. It’s up to you to ensure you claim every credit possible based on your work circumstances.

Made Money From a Side Hustle/Self-Owned Business

2020 felt like the year of DIY and side hustles. Whether you picked up a new instrument, learned a new language, or taught yourself to juggle, you never know, that skill could become a serious side hustle or business (yes, there are pro jugglers).

If you did, in fact, find yourself making money through a side hustle or business you own, we hope you kept the receipts.


We’ve been there. It sucks. But on the bright side, this is the time to double-check that you’ve been appropriately claiming any potential benefits like EI and making sure it’s reflected on your taxes this year.

Paid for Tuition

You should have received a T2202A form outlining what you paid for tuition last year. And while tuition may be cripplingly expensive, did you know that by paying for it, you may have also qualified for a tax deduction? Find out how you can use portions from your tuition expenses to carry forward into future years or even transfer to a relative.

Paid for Moving Expenses

Though most students ended up staying at home this year, if you moved for school, you could be looking at some extra money in your refund. Specifically, if you moved more than 40 km to attend school full-time, you might be eligible to expense things like transportation, accommodations, storage, and more. Talk about sweet, beautiful freedom.

Paid Professional or Union Dues

These are some of the coolest clubs out there. If you landed a job that requires membership to a professional board or union, you can actually get a credit for any fees you paid. Make sure you get as much as possible with some help from the tax pros at H&R Block.

In summary, it’s time to make 2020 pay you back. But even if it was the year of DIY, your taxes probably aren’t the best project to take on.

Speaking of, H&R Block is offering you a chance to win $2,500 just for sharing your 2020 experience in their new tax game. Answer a few quick questions to get a better sense of your 2020 return and you’ll get an easy chance to win. Play today.


Play the new tax game.

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.