There are a variety of student tax deductions available. Here at Online Tax Australia, we understand that it’s often difficult to make ends meet as a student. So, to ensure that you make the most of all the tax saving benefits available to you as a student, we’ve compiled the comprehensive tax deduction guide below.
The majority of student tax deductions are related to out-of-pocket expenses incurred during the year which are directly related to your income generating activities OR expenses incurred in undertaking self-education programs where the expenditure and your circumstance deem those expenses to be eligible and therefore claimed as a tax deduction.
Student Tax Deductions: Self-Education Expenses
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 and income.
- 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.
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
- Secretarial expenses, like typing of assignments
You cannot claim the following self-education expenses:
- Occupancy expenses like mortgage interest, rent, house insurance, and council rates
- HECS-HELP payments
- Financial Supplement Loan Repayments
- Open Learning Agency of Australia basic charges
For more information, visit: Self-Education Claims
Student Tax Deductions: Meals and Travel
- Where your circumstances deem you to be eligible to claim self education expenses you may be entitles to claim accommodation and meals tax rebates if you maintain a home, and have to stay overnight, away from your home, due to your study. For example, if you live in Ballarat, but study in Melbourne, you could claim the cost of staying overnight in Melbourne once a week, if you have a permanent house in Ballarat.
- 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
- If you have to travel overseas, you may be able to claim a tax deduction for airfares incurred if you are attending:
- Overseas study tours
- Work related conferences or seminars
- An educational institution
Student Tax Deductions for: Equipment and Tools
- A Where your circumstances deem you to be eligible to claim self education expenses you can claim a tax deduction for work related equipment and tools that cost less than $300 each.
- Items worth more than $300 each must be depreciated over the useful life. When you enter the item in our depreciation calculator, it will calculate the correct claim for the current year and carry the balance forward to claim in future years.
- If an item is used partly for business, and partly for private purposes, then you are entitled to claim the only the business-related portion.
- Typical equipment and tools eligible for a tax deduction for students include:
- Electronic equipment such as computers and mobile phones
- Stationery such as diaries, organisers, and log books
- Briefcases and laptop carry bags
Student Tax Deductions: General Expenses
There is also a range of general tax deductions, available to all Australians, regardless of profession or occupation, including:
- Conference and seminar fees
- Reference books
- Telephone and internet fees (for the work related portion only)
- Home office costs
- Tax agent fees
- Donations to registered charities
- Income Protection Insurance
For further information, please visit Typical Tax Deductions.
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If you’ve been searching for an experienced, professionally qualified, transparent accountant that truly understands tax rules and regulations in relation to students, then contact the friendly team at Online Tax Australia today:
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