Self-Education Expenses

Online Tax Return
About enrolling in a course, there are conditions for this course to be tax deductible.
You may be allowed to claim a tax deduction for self-education expenses if your study is work-related. In some circumstances, you are required to reduce the amount of your claim by $250.
Self-education expenses are deductible if the course undertaken leads to a formal qualification and meets some conditions.
The course is required to have a clear connection to the taxpayer current employment and:
– maintain or improve the specific skills or knowledge required in current employment, or
– result in increase in income from the current employment.
You cannot claim a tax deduction for self-education expenses for a course that does not have a real connection to your current employment even though it:
– might be generally related to current employment, or
– enables you to get a new employment.
Expenses you can claim
You can claim the following expenses in relation to your self-education in your tax return:
– accommodation & meals if away from home overnight
– computer consumables
– course fees
– textbooks
– decline in value for depreciating assets with cost exceeds $300
– purchase of equipment or technical instruments costing $300 or less
– equipment repairs
– student union fees
– fares
– home office running costs
– interest
– internet usage (excluding connection fees)
– parking fees (only for work-related claims)
– phone calls
– postage
– stationery
– student services and amenities fees
– trade, professional, or academic journals
– travel to-and-from education place (only for work-related claims).
Some travel for journeys cannot be claimed, but you may be able to offset the cost of these journeys against the $250 reduction.
If an expense is partly for self-education and partly for other purposes, only the amount that relates to your self-education can be claimed as a deduction.
Expenses you can offset against the $250 reduction
While you can’t claim a deduction for the following expenses, they can be taken into consideration in determining whether you are required to reduce your total claim.
– childcare
– computer purchasing
– fares, travel expense or car expense for those journeys : for work-related self-education, the second leg of a trip if you go from home to the education place and then to work, or the other way around.
If you are entitled to claim a deduction, you can claim the following:
– tuition fees under FEE-HELP
– tuition fees under VET FEE-HELP
– the cost of meals and accommodation during temporary overnight absences from home to participate in self-education
– other expenses such as textbooks, stationery, student union fees, student services fees , course fees, and the decline in value of your computer or laptop (apportioned on private use and use for self-education)
– expenses for travelling in either direction between
    1 – your home and place of education
    2 – your workplace and place of education.
Only the first leg of the trip is tax deductible if you go from home to the place of education and then to work, or the other way around.
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