By Katherine Ryan

How choosing to study could give you the best tax return!

16 May 2018

Amongst all the hype and craze of getting a golden bargain we tend to focus less on the things that really matter, like building a successful future for ourselves.

What does a successful future look like for you?

Success could look like many things, such as; a career promotion, exploring new career opportunities or simply getting that qualification you’ve always wanted. Whatever it looks like for you, we want to help you achieve it.

Building a successful future costs time and money, thankfully though, the Australian Government has implemented the ability to claim study expenses back via the self-education expenses. You can read more about it here.

It’s a brilliant incentive to study a relevant course and advance your career, and it’s our government’s way of encouraging us to invest in our professional development.

How to know if you’re eligible to claim?

According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), if you choose to fund your own study before the end of the financial year and it’s directly related to your work, you may be eligible to claim your study expenses back on tax. See whether you are eligible below.

You may be eligible if:

  • You are upgrading your qualifications for your current job – for example, upgrading from a Certificate qualification to a Diploma qualification.
  • You are improving specific skills or knowledge used in your current employment – for example, a course that will allow you to operate more machinery at work.
  • You are employed as a trainee and you are undertaking a course that forms part of that traineeship – for example, an overseas trained person employed as an intern while doing a bridging course.
  • You can show that at the time you were working and studying, your course led, or was likely to lead, to an increase in employment income - for example, a teacher who will automatically get a pay increase as a result of completing the course.

What exactly can I claim?

  • 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).

When you start your studies, it’s a good idea to keep a log and all your receipts of purchases made for your education, just in case.

The ATO also provides a handy self-education expenses calculator which can give you an estimate of the deduction you can claim.

Where to from here?

If you pay for your course fees before the end of the financial year you will be able to claim your education back on your tax return. It’s definitely worth investigating.

Need more information? Talk to our Learner Experience Team today to find out more about our programs.

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