Ensure you get the most back at tax time.
Eligible parents can claim the Education Tax Refund (ETF) in their individual tax returns. The ETF is a fully refundable tax offset that will be paid as part of your tax assessment. (For those not required to lodge an income tax return, a stand-alone claim form can be used).
The maximum you can claim is 50% of eligible expenses up to:
- $780 for each eligible student in primary school – that is, a refund of up to $390
- $1,558 for each eligible student in secondary school – that is, a refund of up to $779.
If the expenses exceed your refund for the financial year, you can carry forward the excess expenses from one year to the next, for one year only (as long as you are still eligible).
Eligible education expenses that you can claim include:
- laptop computers, home computers and associated costs, including the repair and running costs of computer equipment
- computer-related equipment such as printers, USB flash drives, and disability aids to assist in the use of computer equipment for students with special needs
- home internet connections, including the costs of establishing and maintaining them
- computer software for educational use
- word processing, spreadsheet, database and presentation software, and internet filters and antivirus software
- school textbooks and other paper-based school learning material, including prescribed textbooks, associated learning materials, study guides and stationery – for example, pencils, pens, compasses and glue, and
- Prescribed trade tools.
Expenses that are NOT eligible for the Education Tax Refund include:
- school fees
- school uniform expenses (eligible from 1 July 2011, subject to legislation)
- student attendance at school-based extra curricular activities such as excursions and camps
- tutoring costs
- musical instruments
- sporting equipment
- library book fees
- building levies
- school subject levies – for example, payment for consumables for particular subjects such as woodwork, art or home science
- school photos
- tuck shop expenses
- waiting list fees
- membership fees
- computer games and consoles.
Some other frequently asked Questions and Answers
Can I share the expenses between all my children?
Yes. You can share the expenses provided all of the eligible school students have access to the item that has been purchased – for example, a computer.
Can I combine the expense limit for each child?
Yes. You can combine the limit for each child to maximise your entitlement.
Do pre-school courses qualify as part of the primary school course of education?
You need to contact your state or territory Department of Education to confirm if your child’s enrolment in pre-school means they are enrolled in primary school.
I do not receive FTB Part A and my son does not receive Youth Allowance because of his income. Can I claim the Education Tax Refund?
For more details, see http://www.educationtaxrefund.gov.au/index.html