Post-Secondary Education

Co-op Students Hiring Incentive FAQs

Questions from Post-Secondary Institutions

Will students get money from the Co-op Students Hiring Incentive?

No. The COS-HI is designed as a benefit for employers. Students benefit through the increased incentive that businesses have to hire co-operative education students. Post-secondary education institutions benefit by having an additional tool with which to get employers involved in co-operative education programming.

How do I apply to get my co-operative education program involved in the Co-op Students Hiring Incentive (COS-HI)?

Co-operative education programs must be approved individually, using the Co-op Program Approval Application Form (Adobe PDF Document 332 KB). This form requires programs to meet the requirements as set out in The Income Tax Act (Manitoba). Once approved, the co-operative program will appear on the Manitoba Co-operative Education Programs Registry (Adobe PDF Document 175 KB) for students and employers to use in verifying program eligibility for the COS-HI and COG-HI.

My students work for a number of different employers. Which employers are eligible for the tax credit?

Most Manitoba employers are eligible for the tax benefit, including private companies, co-operatives, Crown Corporations, municipally-owned businesses, not-for-profit organizations, unincorporated employers, and corporations and other organizations exempt from income tax. The only exceptions are provincial and federal government departments.

A single student may have a lifetime maximum of five (5) placements that are supported by the COS-HI. This does not limit the number of placements a student can have in a given co-operative education program, however the benefits of the COS-HI are available only for five (5) of those placements of an individual student.

What does it mean to have the work done “predominantly” in Manitoba?

In addition to working for a company, business or organization that files an income tax return in Manitoba, the student must perform the majority of the work here in Manitoba. Some travel is allowed (for example, training for the job in another jurisdiction). However, the work must be performed primarily in Manitoba.

Are ‘internships’ or ‘practica’ eligible for the credit?

All programs that meet the criteria outlined in The Income Tax Act (Manitoba), regardless if they are called a "co-operative education" program are eligible for the tax credit.

Are there limitations to the academic areas of the co-op programs that are eligible?

No, there are no limitations in terms of the academic areas. The co-op program only needs to be recognized and offered by a post-secondary institution that is participating in the tax credit program.

What happens if a student completes the work term, but does not complete the program successfully?

Manitoba Finance will deal with these eventualities on an individual basis. Note that it is the responsibility of the employer, and not the post-secondary institution, to pursue the matter with Manitoba Finance. Employers should contact the office below for further information:

Manitoba Tax Assistance Office
c/o 809-386 Broadway
Winnipeg MB R3C 3R6
Telephone: 204-948-2115 or (1-800-782-0771 outside Winnipeg)
Fax: 204-948-2263
Email: tao@gov.mb.ca

No. The tax credit is designed in such a way as to require information that you or the business currently collects on the students and work placements. Institutions are free to structure their cooperative education programs as they see fit.


Questions from Students

Can I get money from the Co-operative Student Hiring Incentive?

No. The COS-HI is designed as a benefit for employers. Students benefit through the increased incentive that businesses have to hire co-operative education students. Post-secondary education institutions benefit through having an additional tool with which to get employers involved in co-operative education programming.

What do I have to do to ensure that my employer benefits from this program?

The program is designed so that the student has to do very little aside from what the co-operative education program and your employer require you to do anyway. Please contact the director or coordinator of your co-operative education program for more information.

Will an employer benefit from the COS-HI each and every time I am on a work placement in a co-op education program?

For tax years ending after 2015, employers who hire a student as part of a registered co-operative education program can claim 15% of wages and salaries, up to a maximum of $5,000 per student.


Information for Potential Employers

What is the Co-op Students Hiring Incentive (COS-HI)?

The COS-HI is a Manitoba income tax credit for employers, both corporate and unincorporated, who provide job placements for students in co-operative education programs.

What kinds of Manitoba employers can benefit from the COS-HI?

Most Manitoba employers are eligible for the tax benefit, including private companies, co-operatives, Crown Corporations, municipally-owned businesses, not-for-profit organizations, unincorporated employers, and corporations and other organizations exempt from income tax. The only exceptions are provincial and federal government departments.

How much is the tax credit benefit?

For tax years ending after 2015, employers can claim 15% of salary and wages, less any government assistance received in respect of those wages and salaries, paid to student for work performed during an approved co-operative education work placement. This benefit is up to a lifetime maximum of $5,000 per student.

What kinds of students can we hire to earn the tax credit, and on what terms?
  • Students must be enrolled in a registered co-operative post-secondary education program. The student may be enrolled at an institution located in Manitoba, elsewhere in Canada, or in a foreign country. You can search the Manitoba Co-operative Education Programs Registry (Adobe PDF Document 69 KB) to verify program eligibility.
  • The work placement must be creditable towards a student's degree, certificate or diploma.
  • The student must work primarily in Manitoba.
  • An employer may hire the same student for several placements.
  • There is no restriction on the number of students an employer may hire for purposes of claiming the COS-HI tax credit.
How can my company/business/organization participate?
  • Companies, businesses, or organizations participate by establishing contact with an approved co-operative education program. You can search the Manitoba Co-operative Education Programs Registry (Adobe PDF Document 69 KB) to find an approved program.
  • If you are thinking of hiring a particular student, and that student is in a co-operative education program, contact the student's academic supervisor or another official of their program.
    • If the student's program is approved, the program will either provide you of proof of the student's enrolment in the program, or you may contact the program for this confirmation.
    • If the co-operative education program in which the student is enrolled is not yet approved, please have the co-operative education program contact Post-Secondary Education and Labour Market Outcomes to determine if they qualify for participation.
  • On the other hand, if you are looking for students from a certain academic field or specialization, you are advised to contact universities and colleges that offer a related course of study, and enquire whether they also offer a co-operative education program which might qualify for participation in the COS-HI. Remember that the program may be in Manitoba, elsewhere in Canada, or in a foreign country, as long as the student is located in Manitoba for the duration of the work placement.
  • Once you have hired a graduate of a co-op education program, you must wait until the first full year of employment is completed before applying for the benefit. At that time, you will need to complete the Co-operative Graduate Hiring Incentive (pdf format 77 KB) and forward it to the Manitoba Tax Assistance Office.
  • Part 1 will require documentation that certifies the employee has graduated from a recognized co-operative education program. This includes a copy of the graduate’s degree, diploma or certificate.
  • The Form should be completed at the end of the first qualifying period of employment.
  • If the employee is retained for a second full year, you may apply for a second tax credit by submitting a new form for the second qualifying period of employment.
  • The credit is used to reduce tax payable for the year applicable to the employment time period. Any remaining amount is refundable to the employer.
How does our company/business/organization claim the credit?

Please claim this refundable tax credit on your corporate income tax return. For more information, please contact Manitoba Finance:

Manitoba Tax Assistance Office
809-386 Broadway
Winnipeg MB R3C 3R6
Telephone: 204-948-2115 (1-800-782-0771 outside Winnipeg)
Fax: 204-9482263
Email: tao@gov.mb.ca

Where can I go for more information?
  • If you are considering hiring a specific student, please contact that student's co-operative education director or co-ordinator.
  • If you are looking for students in your field of business, contact the leading universities and colleges offering related co-operative education programs. Program directors or co-ordinators will know if they are already participating, and if they are not, they can decide if they are prepared to apply to participate.
  • If you are looking for tax-related information, please contact:
  • Manitoba Tax Assistance Office
    809-386 Broadway
    Winnipeg MB R3C 3R6
    Telephone: 204-948-2115 or (1-800-782-0771 outside Winnipeg)
    Fax: 204-948-2263
    Email: tao@gov.mb.ca