Tax and Education

Tax and Education
Questions about self-education related tax deductions? Read H&R Block's FAQs for answers. If you can't find what you're looking for, call us at 13 23 25 today.
In March 2012 legislation was passed and Tax Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No. 1) Bill 2012 now denies any deduction for study expenses for full-time students who are in receipt of Youth Allowance, Austudy or Abstudy.   Disallowing a deduction for expenses incurred in gaining or producing a rebatable benefit recognises that taxable government assistance payments are effectively tax-free and individuals should not be able to receive an additional benefit by way of a tax deduction against their assessable income for any expenses they incur in qualifying for the payment.

If you make an advance payment of at least $500, or enough to clear the debt entirely, you will receive a 5% discount on that payment. It is a good idea to make the payment before 1 June when the annual indexation is calculated. The indexation rate for 2015 is 2.1%. You should be aware that if you’re HELP repayment income is above $53,345 and you still have an outstanding HELP balance you may also be required to make a compulsory payment when you lodge your 2015 tax return.

Although it is the government’s intention to remove the bonuses, at the time of writing the enabling legislation had not been approved by parliament.

A new benefit was made available from the 2009 income year onwards which reduces the compulsory HELP repayment or accumulated HELP debt for eligible graduates in science, maths, nursing (including midwifery) or early childhood education.

The reduction amounts are indexed annually, and must be applied for after the end of the financial year. There is a fixed claim period of 2 years from the end of the financial year.

The benefit was designed to encourage maths and science graduates to work in specified occupations and early childhood teachers to work in specified locations. The benefit must be applied for each year and forms are available from the tax office or can be downloaded from Details of the qualifying occupations and locations can be found at

In the 2014 Budget the Government announced that the HECS-HELP benefit scheme will end on 30 June 2015. Graduates would have until 30 June 2017 to claim HECS-HELP benefit for employment prior to 1 July 2015.

After the Anstis case in November 2010 a deduction was allowed for job seeking expenses for the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 years for taxpayers in receipt of a Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance who were job seekers.  In the 2011 year expenses were again allowed for those in receipt of a government Newstart or Youth Allowance payment for expenses directly related to seeking paid work. All expenses had to be fully substantiated and taxpayers must have kept written evidence to prove the expense has been incurred. This means receipts MUST have been kept. However, in March 2012 legislation was passed now the Government denies any deduction for job seeking expenses by those who receive Newstart or Youth Allowance.

The costs associated with seminars are tax deductible provided that they relate to your current income producing activities.

At H&R Block nothing is too complicated. We can assist you with any number of tax questions. To find an office near you just call 13 23 25 or click here.

If you have salary sacrificed into super, the amount contributed is included in the reportable employer superannuation contributions amount shown on your PAYG payment summary. Also included are any superannuation contributions for which a tax deduction has been claimed. This means that any entitlement you have to any benefits from Centrelink or the Family Assistance Office that are subject to an income test will take into account those amounts.

It also contributes to the calculation of any Child Support payments and is used to determine your liability to such things as the Medicare levy surcharge or repayments of HECS-HELP debts. They may also impact on any tax offsets that you are entitled to claim on your tax return.