Tax Blogs

Self Education Expenses on your Tax

May 27, 2021

Self-education is something that everyone of us can benefit from when we leave school. You are independently advancing yourself in your life or careers.

Self Education Tax Deductions

Luckily, some of your self-education expenses can be claimed as a tax deduction. However, there is a catch, you can only claim self-education expenses if your education directly relates to your current job and will result in a formal qualification in your current job or trade. 

If you are planning on getting a new job or your study only generally relates to your current job then you can’t claim self-education expenses.


“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one learned in school.”

– Albert Einstein

You might be thinking to yourself now – I’m studying, and it directly relates to my job, what can I claim in my next tax return? Before we discuss what you can claim it needs to be noted that you can only claim anything from $250 onwards.

E.g. You spent $800 on self-education you can’t claim the first $250 of expenses. So, you can only claim $550 of your expenses.

Then it gets tricky, if you have any kind of depreciating assets you can offset the $250 against your assets. E.g. You paid $800 for a laptop – this can reduce or wipe out the reduction completely. 

It’s pretty confusing, but our etax system will work it all out for you.

The smarter, cheaper tax alternative

Here is a list of things you can claim:

  • Course Fees
  • Stationery
  • Textbooks
  • Trade, professional and academic journals
  • Computer consumables (Paper, printer ink etc)
  • Decline in value for depreciation assets over $300 (e.g. a laptop or computer)
  • Equipment purchases under $300 (e.g. a $20 Calculator)
  • Equipment repairs
  • Accommodation and meals (if you are staying away from home overnight)
  • Travel to and from place of education
  • Parking fees
  • Home office running costs (You’ll need to keep a diary for this)
  • Internet
  • Postage

Read: Our Home Office blog

You can’t claim:

  • 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)

Remember, if all of your work-related expenses exceed $300 you need to keep receipts for every expense, not just the excess! If the ATO come asking questions, they will want to see all of your receipts, invoices, logbooks etc. relating to your expenses.  

Keep your records well organised and for five years from the date you receive your Notice of Assessment (for record keeping tips, see our blog – Our Ultimate Super Awesome Amazing Record Keeping Tips

It’s time to stop worrying and stop making excuses.

In just 10 minutes you can have your tax return done and dusted!

Speedy Gonzalez $10, Not too much to claim $38.50, One with the lot $64.95 and if it’s your first time, do it for FREE!

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Note that the information provided is general in nature and subject to change, please contact one of our professionals who can evaluate your circumstances and provide more accurate advice to your current situation.

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