With a range of self education expenses qualifying as tax deductible in Australia, your studies can save you tax.
When Self Education Expenses are Allowable as a Tax Deduction
You may be able to claim the costs of self-education if one of the following describes your situation:
• At the time the expense was incurred there was a direct connection between the self-education and your current work activities.
• You can show that the study leads to, or may lead to, an increase in income from your current employment or work activities.
• Any other direct connection can be found between the self-education and current work activities.
You cannot claim self-education expenses if:
• The study was undertaken to obtain a new job, to open up a new business or to facilitate new income earning activities. For example, a receptionist studying to become a vet cannot claim self-education expenses as the qualification is not required for her current role; it is creating a new income earning activity.
What You Can Claim as Self Education Expenses
General Self Education Expenses
If you are eligible to claim self-education expenses, these include:
• Student union and course fees
• Text books, stationery, photocopying
• Home office expenses, software, printer cartridges, and internet access
• Interest on loans used to purchase computers or to pay fees
• Depreciation on major equipment, like computers and printers
• Other expenses such as typing of assignments
Meals and Accommodation as a Self Education Expenses
• As a student, you can only claim accommodation and meals tax rebates if you maintain a home, and have to stay overnight, away from your home, due to your study.
• The cost of meals is generally a private and non-claimable expense. However, you may be able to claim the cost of meals while travelling if:
– You are undertaking self-education directly connected to your current work, and
– That self-education requires you to be temporarily absent from your home for one or more nights
Overseas Travel as a Self Education Expense
If you undertake overseas travel as part of your self education, a deduction can be claimed for airfares incurred as part of self-education expenses when attending:
• Overseas study tours
• Work related conferences or seminars
• An educational institution
What You Cannot Claim as Self Education Expenses
You cannot claim the following self-education expenses:
• Occupancy expenses like mortgage interest, rent, house insurance, and council rates
• HECS-HELP repayments
• Financial Supplement Loan Repayments
• Open Learning Agency of Australia basic charges