How to Claim Self-Education Expenses at Tax Time


Are you constantly thinking about ways to improve your lot at work? You may be reasonably happy with your career choice and know that there are opportunities to progress within your current company. However, you know that it's not going to happen just by itself, and you need to take steps in the right direction. In particular, you need to focus on self-education, which may make you more eligible for promotion. The good news is that this approach can have benefits at tax time. You do need to understand the rules before you start, though.

Principal Rule

The ATO wants to encourage you to self-educate and will allow you to claim certain expenses against your tax return, with a few caveats.

Firstly, any training course has to be legitimate and it has to relate to your current career only. In other words, there will need to be a direct connection between your study course and your employment at the time. If you are successful and pass the course, then you will be able to use the skills and knowledge in your current position or upgrade your qualifications in the hope of promotion. If you can show that the course you're taking will lead to such a salary increase, this will qualify.

Not Eligible

However, you cannot claim expenses associated with self-education if you simply want to apply for a different job somewhere else or start your own business on the side.

The Details

That being said, the ATO will allow you to claim your tuition fees as well as other expenses. These could include meals and accommodation if you need to study away from home, as well as associated travel expenses. You can make a claim if you need to purchase equipment or certain instruments up to a sum of $300 or depreciate other assets that cost in excess of that. You'll also be able to claim phone calls, stationery, trade journals, student union fees and other assorted things.

Initial Deduction

You will need to be careful when making your return, however, as you won't be able to claim the first $250 of self-education expenditure. On the other hand, you can claim those depreciation costs from dollar one, which might end up cancelling out the initial deduction.

Making Sure It's Right

If you are at all confused by these rules, don't worry, because you're not alone. You should consult with a tax agent before you complete your return to make sure you're getting it all right.


26 December 2018

How to Reduce Your Tax Bill

Hello! Welcome to my tax blog. My name is Phillip, I am a businessman who lives in Sydney, Australia. Last year, I realised that my tax bill seemed very high. My friend suggested that I contact a tax service who would be able to offer help and assistance in rearranging my tax liabilities. I was a little unsure, but I took my friend's advice. The advisor was great. He looked over all of my financial data and recommended some minor changes I could make which could drastically reduce the amount of tax I would owe. I hope you like this blog and find it useful.