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Self-education expenses

You may be able to claim a deduction for self-education expenses if your self-education relates to your current work activities as an employee. In some circumstances you have to reduce the amount of your claim by $250.

You cannot claim these expenses if the course is undertaken to secure a new job or results in a new income earning activity. Please note that CPD (Continuing Professional Developments) activities are not claimed as self-education expenses.

Eligible courses

Self-education expenses are deductible when the course you undertake leads to a formal qualification and meets the following conditions.

The course must have a sufficient connection to your current work activities as an employee and:

  • maintain or improve the specific skills or knowledge you require in your current work activities or
  • result in, or is likely to result in, an increase in your income from your current work activities.

You cannot claim a deduction for self-education expenses for a course that does not have a sufficient connection to your current work activities even though it:

  • might be generally related to it, or
  • enables you to get new employment.

Expenses you can claim

You can claim the following expenses in relation to your self-education:

  • accommodation and meals (if away from home overnight)
  • computer consumables
  • course fees
  • decline in value for depreciating assets (cost exceeds $300)
  • purchase of equipment or technical instruments costing $300 or less
  • equipment repairs
  • fares
  • home office running costs
  • interest
  • internet usage (excluding connection fees)
  • parking fees (only for work-related claims)
  • phone calls
  • postage
  • stationery
  • student union fees
  • student services and amenities fees
  • textbooks
  • trade, professional, or academic journals
  • travel to-and-from place of education (only for work-related claims).

Some travel for journeys cannot be claimed, but you may be able to offset the cost of these journeys against the $250 reduction.

If an expense is partly for your self-education and partly for other purposes, you can only claim the amount that relates to your self-education as a deduction.

Expenses you can’t claim

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

  • repayments of Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loans (although the fees paid by some HELP loans are)
  • Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS) repayments
  • Student Start-up Loan (SSL) repayments)
  • Trade Support Loan Program (TSL) repayments
  • home office occupancy expenses
  • meals (unless sleeping away from home).

Please refer to ATO Website for further details. We can also help you to work our deductions for self-education expenses and your overall tax related requirements.

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