• Self-education expenses

    You may be able to claim a deduction for self-education expenses if your study is work-related or if you receive a taxable bonded scholarship. In some circumstances you have to reduce the amount of your claim by $250.

    Follow the links below for more information about:

    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 employment and:

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

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

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

    Taxable bonded scholarship recipients

    You can claim a deduction for self-education expenses if, in doing the course, you are satisfying study requirements to maintain your right to a taxable bonded scholarship. If you are employed by the scholarship provider, normal work-related self-education rules apply.

    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.

    See also:

    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
    • home office occupancy expenses
    • meals (unless sleeping away from home), where not sleeping away from home.

    See also:

    $250 reduction

    Self-education expenses are broken into 5 categories. If all of your self-education expenses are 'category A' items then you have to reduce your deduction by $250.

    However category 'E expenses' can be used to offset the $250.

    Expenses you can offset against the $250 reduction

    While you can't claim a deduction for the following expenses, they can be taken into account in determining whether you have to reduce your overall claim.

    • childcare
    • computer purchase
    • fares, travel or car expenses for these journeys
      • for work-related self-education, the second leg of a trip if you went from home to your place of education and then to work, or the other way around
      • if you receive a taxable bonded scholarship and are not employed by the scholarship provider, travel from home to your normal place of education and back.

    See also:

  • Last modified: 24 May 2016QC 31970