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  • Study expense deductions for Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY recipients

    As a consequence of a recent High Court decision, you can claim a deduction for study expenses this year if you received Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY. See question D4 - Work-related self-education expenses for more information and our website at www.ato.gov.au/studyexpensechanges

    In the 2011 Budget, the government announced its intention to change the law to prevent deductions being claimed against all government assistance payments from 1 July 2011. This includes claims for study expenses by those who receive Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY.

    The announcement does not affect your entitlement to claim deductions for 2011.

    Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients who were actively seeking paid work

    As a consequence of a recent High Court decision, this year you can claim deductions for expenses you incurred in actively seeking paid work if you received Newstart allowance or were a Youth Allowance job seeker. This includes expenses you incurred in meeting the requirements of your Employment Pathway Plan. You cannot claim expenses that are of a private or domestic nature. You must have records to support your claim.

    Use item D15 - Other deductions on page s43 in TaxPack 2011 supplement to make your claim.

    You can claim:

    • short-term travel costs, such as travel to job interviews
    • training courses, including self-employment training and assistance, and text books
    • phone calls you made seeking paid work
    • r sum  preparation.

    You cannot claim expenses:

    • that relate to seeking employment in only a general way (for example, conventional clothing)
    • that are of a private or domestic nature (for example, conventional clothing, grooming and meals)
    • paid for by your Job Services Australia provider.

    In the 2011 Budget, the government announced its intention to change the law to prevent deductions being claimed against all government assistance payments from 1 July 2011. This includes claims for expenses by Newstart recipients and Youth Allowance job seekers.

    The announcement does not affect your entitlement to claim deductions for 2011.

    Natural disaster donation receipts

    If you made one or more donations of $2 or more to bucket collections conducted by an approved organisation for natural disasters such as the floods in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, bushfires in Western Australia, Cyclone Yasi in Queensland, and the earthquakes in Christchurch and north-eastern Japan, you can claim a tax deduction of up to $10 for the total of those contributions without having a receipt.

    If you used the web or phone to make a donation over $2, your web receipt or credit card statement is sufficient. If you donated through third parties, such as banks and retail outlets, the receipt they gave you is also sufficient. If you contributed through 'workplace-giving' your payment summary shows the amount you donated. See question D9 - Gifts or donations.

    Tax exemption for certain payments

    The government has introduced legislation to grant tax exemption for certain payments made following recent natural disasters. The following payments will be exempt from tax:

    • disaster income recovery subsidy paid for Cyclone Yasi and the flooding events which started on 29 November 2010
    • ex-gratia payments from the Commonwealth paid to New Zealand non-protected special-category visa holders following an Australian natural disaster in the 2010-11 income year
    • clean-up and recovery grants paid to small business and primary producers (under category C of the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements) for
      • flooding which started on 29 November 2010, and
      • Cyclone Yasi.
       

    For more information go to www.ato.gov.au/floodlevy

      Last modified: 29 Jun 2011QC 25532