Can I claim my Self Education costs?

There needs to be the necessary connection to your current income for these expenses to be claimable. This means that the Self Education needs to help you in your current job and not be undertaken to open up new job opportunities.

Example 1:

Tracey is a pharmacy sales assistant who is studying for a Pharmacy degree so that she can become a pharmacist.  The expenses related to the study are not allowable as the study is designed to open up a new income-earning activity.

Example 2:

James, a trainee accountant, is studying commerce part-time at university. He is allowed a deduction for the costs associated with the course because the course enables Barry to maintain or increase the specific knowledge required in his current position and to carry out his duties more effectively.


Are my education expenses claimable against AUSTUDY?

No. The tax office has ruled that deductions for education expenses are not deductible against AUSTUDY income.

Can I claim the costs of seminars?
Yes.  The costs are tax deductible provided that they relate to your current income producing activities.

I have a HECS-HELP debt and have been thinking about making some extra payments to pay it off quicker.  Will I get any benefit for doing this?

If you make an advance payment of at least $500, or enough to clear the debt entirely, you will receive a 10% discount on that payment.  It is a good idea to make the payment before 1 June when the annual indexation is calculated.  The rate for 2008 is 2.8%.  You should be aware that if your HELP repayment income is above $39,824 and you still have an outstanding HELP balance you may also be required to make a compulsory payment when you lodge your 2008 tax return.