tax agent in perth

tax agent in perth

What are self-education expenses?

Self-education expenses are the costs you incur when you:

•      undertake courses at an educational institution (whether or not the courses lead to a formal qualification)

•      attend work-related conferences or seminars

•      do self-paced learning and study tours (whether within Australia or overseas).

When you can’t claim a deduction?

You can’t claim a deduction for a self-education expense if, at the time you incur the expenses:

•      it doesn’t have a sufficient connection to your employment activities at that time

•      you are not employed

•      it only relates in a general way to your employment activities at that time – such as undertaking a full-time fashion photography course and working as a casual sales assistant on the weekends

•      it enables you to get new employment or change employment – such as moving from employment as a nurse to employment as a doctor.

Expenses you can claim

If your self-education expenses meet the eligibility criteria, you can claim a deduction for the following expenses:

•      Tuition, course, conference or seminar fees

•      General course expenses

•      Decline in value of depreciating assets

•      Car and other transport expenses

•      Accommodation and meal expenses (incurred when the self-education requires you to travel and be away from your home for one or more nights)

•      Interest on borrowings

Tuition, course, conference or seminar fees

You can claim a deduction for tuition fees, including student and amenities fees, you incur if you are enrolled in a full fee paying place at a university or other higher education institution. You incur deductible course or tuition fees when the debt becomes a legal obligation you need to pay back (for example, on the census date). This is not when you make a repayment.

This includes fees that you pay with the assistance of a:

·       FEE-HELP loan

·       VET Student Loan (formerly known as VET-FEE HELP).

You can’t claim a deduction for voluntary or compulsory repayments of these loans in your tax return.

If you’re unsure whether you are enrolled in a full fee paying place, you can check with your university or higher education institution.

There are certain tuition fees you can’t claim as a deduction.

For seminars, conferences and similar courses, you can claim a deduction for the cost you incur to attend the event or enrol in the course.

You can’t claim a deduction for tuition, course, conference or seminar fees if your employer reimburses you or pays the fees on your behalf.

General course expenses

You can claim a deduction for the following general course expenses you incur:

·       computer consumables – for example, printer cartridges

·       equipment repairs – for example, the cost of repairing a computer

·       internet and data usage (excluding connection fees)

·       phone calls

·       postage

·       stationery

·       student union fees

·       textbooks

·       trade, professional, or academic journals

Decline in value of depreciating assets

A depreciating asset is an asset that loses its value over time. You can claim a deduction each year for the decline in value (depreciation) until the value of the asset is nil. This period is called the effective life of the asset.

·       You can claim a deduction for the decline in value (depreciation) of assets you use for work-related self-education purposes. For example: computers, professional libraries , desks and chairs, filing cabinets and bookshelves, calculators etc

 

$300 or less

You can claim the cost of a depreciating asset you purchase in the year you buy it if:

·       the asset cost $300 or less

·       you use it for work-related self-education (or in the course of earning other non-business assessable income) in the income year you buy it.

You need to apportion your claim if you also use the asset for private purposes.

 

More than $300

If the depreciating asset you are using for work-related self-education cost more than $300, you can claim a deduction for its decline in value over its effective life.

You must reduce your claim if you either:

·       bought the asset part-way through the income year

·       use the asset partly for private purposes.

To work out your claim for the decline in value of a depreciating asset, use our online

Depreciation and capital allowances tool.

You can manually calculate the decline in value of a depreciating asset using either the prime cost method or diminishing value method.

 

Car and other transport expenses

If your self-education expenses have a sufficient connection to earning income from your employment activities, you can claim transport expenses for both trips when you travel from your:

·       home to your place of education and back home

·       work to your place of education and back to work.

You can only claim the first leg of your trip when you travel from your:

·       home to your place of education and then to work

·       work to your place of education, and then home.

The second leg of these trips is private and you can’t claim a deduction for the transport costs you incur for them.

If you incur parking fees when you attend your place of education or venue where the course or seminar is being held, you can claim a deduction for the cost of those fees as well.

Accommodation and meal expenses

The day-to-day costs you incur relating to your accommodation and meals are generally private living expenses.

You can claim the cost of accommodation and meals only when:

·       you are participating in work-related self-education activities

·       the self-education requires you to be temporarily away from home for one or more nights.

Interest on borrowings

You can claim the interest on a loan where you use the borrowed funds to pay for deductible self-education expenses.

You can’t claim a deduction for repayments of loan principal.

Expenses you can’t claim

You can’t claim the following expenses in relation to your self-education:

•      tuition fees paid by someone else or that your employer or a third-party reimburses you for

•      tuition fees for Commonwealth supported places at a university or higher education provider, which includes any fees you pay with the assistance of a HECS-HELP loan

•      repayments of study and training support loans such as

o   Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), including FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP

o   Student Financial Supplement Scheme

o   VET Student Loans

o   Student Start-up Loans

o   ABSTUDY Student Start-up Loans

o   Trade Support Loan Program

•      accommodation and meals where you are not required to be temporarily away from home for one or more nights

You also can’t claim a deduction for self-education expenses you incur if your only income is a qualifying Australian Government allowance or payment. This allowance or payment is a rebatable benefit and is eligible for the beneficiary tax offset.

Apportioning expenses

If you incur an expense for work-related self-education purposes and private purposes, you can only claim the work-related portion of the expense. This means you need to apportion the expense.

If the self-education isn’t connected to your current employment income overall, but particular subjects of a qualification or components of a course are, you may be able to claim a deduction for the cost of those subjects or components. You can claim a deduction if the subjects or components have a sufficient connection to your employment activities at the time you incur the expense and you can work out their cost.

 

Keeping records for self-education expenses

You must keep receipts for all self-education expenses you incur, including:

•      course fees

•      text books

•      stationery

•      depreciating assets such as computers, laptops and office equipment

•      transport and travel expenses.

You also need to be able to explain how the course directly relates to your employment activities at the time you incurred the self-education expense.

If you are claiming a deduction for a depreciating asset that you have used for self-education, you must keep:

•      your receipts or invoices that clearly show the cost of the depreciating asset and the date of purchase

•      details of how you worked out the effective life of the depreciating asset where you haven’t used the effective life determined by the ATO

•      details of how you work out your claim for decline in value, including which method you used and the opening adjustable value

•      details of the percentage of time you use the asset for self-education.