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Self-Education Expenses!

The end of financial year is nearing and it’s about that time to consider taking up studies to take advantage of tax time! The 2017 financial year end is on June 30th in Australia and now is the best time to consider enrolling in a course. If you enrol in a course before the financial year end, you may be able to claim your tax back for any fees that you pay in what is known as ‘Self-Education Expenses’, because the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) allows for these expenses to be claimed, provided that you meet certain eligibility requirements.

‘Self-Education Expenses’ is defined as courses undertaken at an educational institution, attendance at work-related seminars or conferences, or self-paced learning and study tours (overseas or within Australia). What you get back in your tax return depends on how much you earn, the tax rate you pay, and how much you spend on training, but deductions reduce your taxable income. This means that you won’t pay tax on expenses you claim as a deduction.

Enrolling in a course may also count towards a ‘work-related expense’, which could significantly reduce your training costs and save you money on your course fees. Even if you have already enrolled in a course that is training you within your industry, you may still be able to claim back some tax.

The ATO outlines information on how to claim back tax with Self-Education Expenses. You may claim a deduction if your study is work-related or if you receive a taxable bonded scholarship, although in some cases you may have to reduce the amount of your claim by $250. To be eligible, the course must; lead to a formal qualification; have a sufficient connection to your current employment; maintain or improve the specific skills or knowledge you require in your current employment; or result in, or is likely to result in, an increase in your income from your current employment.

The kind of expenses you could claim include; accommodation and meals (if away from home overnight), computer consumables, course fees, decline in value for depreciating assets (cost exceeds $300), purchase of equipment or technical instruments costing $300 or less, equipment repairs, fares, home office running costs, interest, internet usage (excluding connection fees), parking fees (only for work-related claims), phone calls, postage, stationery, student union fees, student services and amenities fees, textbooks, trade, professional, or academic journals, travel to-and-from place of education (only for work-related claims).

Claims that you won’t be able to make include; repayments of Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loans (although the fees paid by some HELP loans are), Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS) repayments, home office occupancy expenses, meals (unless sleeping away from home), where not sleeping away from home.

If you pay for your course before the 30th of June and you meet all the eligibility criteria, you may be able to claim your self-education refund on this year’s tax return and you could potentially have money back in your pocket in just a couple of months! Consider a course at Kirana Colleges today and contact us to consider your options. We have a range of courses and qualifications available at our training institutes, and we strive for quality education and training for our students.

For further information around tax deductions related to self-education expenses visit the ATO website here.

Posted in: Professional Development


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