Education Tax Refund

The Education Tax Refund lets parents claim a 50% tax refund on eligible education expenses incurred during the year. The total eligible education expenses are capped at $750 for primary school children and $1,500 for secondary school children. Qualifying expenses include:

  • laptop computers
  • home computers and associated costs including repair and running costs of computer equipment
  • computer related equipment such as printers and USB flash drives
  • home internet connections
  • computer software for educational use
  • school textbooks and other paper based school learning material and
  • prescribed trade tools.

Examples of education expenses not eligible for the rebate include:

  • school fees
  • school uniform expenses
  • student attendance at school-based extra curricular activities
  • musical instruments
  • sporting equipment
  • computer games and consoles.

To receive the benefit a parent must be eligible to receive the Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A for their child. The education tax refund is a fully refundable tax offset that will be paid as part of your tax return. If you are not required to lodge a tax return, you will need to lodge a 2010 Education Tax Refund Claim. If your expenses exceed your refund limit for the year, any excess will be carried forward to your following year’s refund claim, as long as you remain eligible. Expenses must be incurred by the child’s parents to be eligible. For example, expenses paid by grandparents are not eligible and grandparents cannot claim the expense either. Note, expenses can be combined for families with more than one child and the expense limit can also be combined to maximise parents’ entitlements. Most importantly, you should keep any receipts as part of your normal record keeping as the Australian Taxation Office may ask you to substantiate your claim.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This article is published as a guide to clients and for their private information. This article does not constitute advice. Clients should not act solely on the basis of the material contained in this article. Items herein are general comments only and do not convey advice per se. Also changes in legislation may occur quickly. We therefore recommend that our formal advice be sought before acting in any of these areas.