Self-education Expenses

 It pays to learn what you can claim at tax time 

 When can you claim? 

Self-education expenses are deductible when the course you undertake has a sufficient connection: 

GreenTickto your current employment and maintains or improves the specific skills or knowledge you require in your current employment, or 

GreenTickresults in – or is likely to result in – an increase in your income from your current employment. 

When can’t you claim? 

You cannot claim a deduction for self-education for a course that: 

RedCrossrelates only in a general way to your current employment or profession, or 

RedCrosswill enable you to get new employment – such as moving from employment as a nurse to employment as a doctor. 


 Course expenses 

If your self-education is eligible, you may be able to claim a deduction for your expenses directly related to undertaking the course. 

General expenses 

Some general expenses you may be able to claim include: 

GreenTicktuition fees, if paid directly by you 

GreenTickcomputer consumables (eg printer cartridges) 

GreenTicktextbooks 

GreenTicktrade, professional or academic journals 

GreenTickstationery 

GreenTickhome office running costs 

GreenTickinternet usage (excluding connection fees) 

GreenTickphone calls 

GreenTickpostage 

GreenTickstudent services and amenities fees 

GreenTicktravel costs, including car expenses, between home and the place of education and between your workplace and the place of education 

GreenTickfees payable on some Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loans, but not the loan itself. 

You can only claim a deduction for the portion of these expenses that is directly related to your eligible self-education. 

Depreciating assets 

You may be able to claim a deduction for depreciating assets – assets that lose value over time such as computers and printers – that you have bought and use to study. 

Depreciating assets that cost more than $300 are usually claimed over the life of the asset (decline in value). However, if you have a depreciating asset that cost $300 or less – you can get a deduction for the full cost of the asset to the extent that you used it for study in the tax year you bought it. (see Apportioning expenses). 

Car expenses 

If you are undertaking a course that has a direct connection to your current employment, you can also claim the cost of daily travel from your: 

GreenTickhome to your place of education and back 

GreenTickwork to your place of education and back. 

However, you cannot claim the cost of the last stage of your travel from: 

RedCrosshome to your place of education, and then to work 

RedCrosswork to your place of education, and then to your home. 


You cannot claim the following expenses related to your self-education: 

RedCrosstuition fees paid by someone else, including your employer, or for which you were reimbursed 

RedCrossrepayments of loans you obtained under the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loans, Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS), the Student Startup Loan (SSL) or the Trade Support Loans Program (TSL) 

RedCrosshome office occupancy expenses – such as rent, mortgage interest, rates 

RedCrossaccommodation and meals – except if you travel away from home for a short period for study, such as to attend residential school.


Apportioning expenses 

Some expenses need to be apportioned between private purposes and use for self-education. Travel costs and depreciating assets are good examples of expenses that may need to be apportioned. 

Use of equipment 

If you use equipment such as computers and printers both privately and for study, you must apportion the expense based on the percentage you use the equipment for study. 

For example, if a computer is used 50% of the time for study and 50% for private purposes, you can only claim half of the cost of the computer as a deduction. (For more information on asset expenses, see the Depreciating assets section on the previous page). 

Recording your expenses 

Use our self-education expense calculator (ato.gov.au/selfeducationcalc) to get an estimate of your self-education deductions. It also provides information on your claim eligibility. 

Records you need to keep may include receipts or other documents showing expenses such as: 

GreenTickcourse fees 

GreenTicktextbooks 

GreenTickstationery 

GreenTickdecline in value of, and repairs to, depreciating assets. 

You must also keep receipts, documents or diary entries for travel expenses. 

The ATO app’s myDeductions tool (ato.gov.au/myDeductions) can be used to record your self-education expenses. 


Calculating your expenses 

In certain circumstances, you may have to reduce your self-education expenses by up to $250 to work out your deduction. 

The Self-education expenses calculator (ato.gov.au/ selfeducationcalc) on the ATO website works this out for you.


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