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  • About question T6

    Question T6 image from tax return for individuals form.

    You may be eligible for the education tax refund (ETR) if you, or your partner, incurred eligible education expenses between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2011 for the primary or secondary school studies (at school, home or TAFE) of:

    • a child, or
    • yourself, if you were an independent student under 25 years old undertaking primary or secondary studies.

    For the purpose of this question, your partner is a person of the same or opposite sex:

    • with whom you are legally married, or in a marriage-like relationship
    • from whom you are not permanently separated, and
    • who is not blood-related, related by adoption or under the age of consent.

    You incur an expense in the income year when:

    • you receive a bill or invoice for an expense that you are liable for and must pay (even if you don't pay it until after the end of the year), or
    • you do not receive a bill or invoice but you are charged and you pay for the expense.

    You can claim carry-forward excess eligible education expenses from last year only if you are eligible for the ETR in respect of eligible education expenses incurred this year.

    For you to be eligible to claim the ETR for an expense for a student, the expense must be an eligible education expense, and when the expense was incurred:

    • you must have met one of the four conditions below, and
    • the student must have met the schooling requirement.

    See:

    Do you want to claim the ETR?

     

    No

     

    Yes

    Read below.

    You must meet one of the four following conditions for each student for whom you want to claim the ETR.

    Condition 1: Receiving family tax benefit (FTB) Part A

    On the day you or your partner incurred the expense in respect of the child, were you eligible to receive FTB Part A for that child?

    If you are not sure whether you were eligible to receive FTB Part A for that child, contact the Family Assistance Office (FAO).

    Yes

    Go to Schooling requirement.

    No

    Read condition 2: Receiving payments other than FTB.

    Condition 2: Receiving Payments other than FTB

    You met this condition if, on the day you or your partner incurred the expense in respect of the child, that child was not your FTB child only because one of these payments was paid for the child *:

    • a social security pension or benefit
    • a Labour Market Program payment, or
    • a prescribed educational scheme payment

    Did you meet this condition?

    Yes

    Go to Schooling requirement.

    No

    Read condition 3: Child stops school.

    * These payments include:

    • Youth Allowance
    • disability support pension
    • ABSTUDY living allowance
    • payments under the Veterans' Children Education Scheme
    • payments under the scheme to provide education and training under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004.
     

    If you are not sure whether a payment for the child is one of these types of payment, contact the payer.

    Condition 3: Child stops school

    You can meet this condition for the child only if:

    • on the day you or your partner incurred the expense in respect of the child, the child was 16 years or older and met the schooling requirement
    • the child was not undertaking primary or secondary school studies on 30 June 2011, and
    • you would have satisfied condition 1 or 2 for the child on the day the expense was incurred if the child had earned no income in the 2010-11 income year.

    If all these criteria are satisfied the Commissioner will accept that you have met condition 3 when you or your partner incurred the expense.

    Did you meet this condition?

    Yes

    Go to Schooling requirement.

    No

    Read condition 4: independent student.

    Condition 4: independent student

    You met this condition if, on the day you incurred the expense, you were under 25 years old and:

    • you were receiving a social security pension or benefit, a Labour Market Program payment or a prescribed educational scheme payment *
    • you met the independence requirements for the payment
    • you were an Australian resident (under the Social Security Act 1991) or a special category visa holder (under the Migration Act 1958)
    • you were residing in Australia, and
    • no one else, such as your parent or an approved care organisation, was entitled to the ETR for you.

    Did you meet this condition?

    Yes

    Go to Schooling requirement.

    No

    You are not eligible for this tax offset. Go to question T7 Superannuation contributions on behalf of your spouse.

    * These payments include:

    • Youth Allowance
    • disability support pension
    • ABSTUDY living allowance
    • payments under the Veterans' Children Education Scheme
    • payments under the scheme to provide education and training under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004.
     

    If you are not sure whether a payment for the child is one of these types of payment, contact the payer.

    Schooling requirement

    If the student was enrolled or registered in a primary or secondary school course (at school, home or TAFE) and attended that course, or received the home schooling, for at least one day:

    • between 1 July 2010 and 31 December 2010, then they met the schooling requirement for every day in that period
    • between 1 January 2011 and 30 June 2011, then they met the schooling requirement for every day in that period
    • in each of those two six-month periods, then they met the schooling requirement for the whole year.

    Primary or secondary school

    If you are uncertain whether your child is registered in a primary or secondary course you need to contact your state or territory department of education.

    Did the student meet the schooling requirement?

    No

    You are not eligible for this tax offset. Go to question T7 Superannuation contributions on behalf of your spouse.

    Yes

    Read below.

    Education expenses

    The following are eligible education expenses if they relate directly to the education of the student for whom you are claiming the ETR:

    • laptops, home computers, repair and associated running costs
    • computer-related equipment, such as printers, USB flash drives, as well as disability aids to assist in the use of computer equipment for students with special needs, repair and associated running costs
    • home internet connection, including the costs of establishing and maintaining it
    • computer software, for example, word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software
    • school textbooks and other paper-based school learning material, including prescribed textbooks, associated learning materials, study guides and stationery
    • tools of trade, such as tools required to complete a school-based apprenticeship.

    The following are not eligible expenses for the ETR:

    • school fees
    • school uniform expenses
    • student attendance at school excursions and camps
    • tutoring costs
    • sporting equipment
    • musical instruments
    • library book fees
    • building levies
    • school subject levies
    • school photos
    • donations
    • tuckshop expenses
    • waiting list fees
    • transport
    • membership fees
    • computer games and consoles.

    You cannot claim for an expense, or that part of an expense:

    • that is tax deductible
    • that is subject to another tax offset, or
    • for which you received or are entitled to receive a reimbursement or payment under a Commonwealth benefit, grant or subsidy.

    Were the expenses you want to claim eligible education expenses?

    Yes

    Go to Answering this question below.

    No

    You are not eligible for this tax offset. Go to question T7 Superannuation contributions on behalf of your spouse.

    Answering this question

    Use the following steps and worksheets to calculate your ETR.

    If you are an independent student go to Completing worksheet 1.

    Before you can work out how much you can claim, you need to know whether you had an FTB agreed percentage or an FTB shared-care percentage for the child.

    If both you and your partner met condition 2 or 3, you can make a written agreement with your partner stating which of you will claim the ETR. Otherwise, you will each have to claim half the ETR.

    You have to calculate ETR if:

    • you had an FTB shared-care or FTB agreed percentage that changed during the year
    • you met condition 1 for a child during part of the income year and you met condition 2 or 3 for the same child during another part of the income year, or
    • you and your partner met condition 2 or 3 unless
      • you had a written agreement that one of you would claim the ETR for every day in the year, or
      • you did not have a written agreement at all.
       

    Completing worksheet 1

    Attention

    Warning:

    This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

    End of attention

    Complete worksheet 1 to work out the maximum ETR you can claim (your ETR limit).

    If you were an independent student, use any column in the worksheet and disregard any instruction that relates to a child.

    If you have more than five children for whom you want to claim the ETR, use a separate piece of paper to continue your calculations.

    Step 1

    For a student who attended secondary school on a day during 2010-11, write $794 at (a). For a student who attended only primary school during 2010-11, write $397 at (a).

    Step 2

    Write at (b), for each student, the number of eligible days, that is, days when:

    • you met any of the four conditions above with respect to the student and
    • the student met the schooling requirement.

    If both of the above dot points are satisfied for the whole income year, write 365 at (b).

    Step 3

    • If you met condition 4, write 1 at (c).
    • If you met condition 1 and had an FTB agreed percentage, write this percentage at (c) as a decimal (for example, write 0.65 not 65%).
    • If both you and your partner met condition 2 or 3, and you do not have a written agreement with your partner, your agreed percentage is 50%. Write 0.5 at (c).
    • Otherwise, your agreed percentage is 100%. Write 1 at (c).

    Step 4

    • If you met condition 4, write 1 at (d).
    • If you and your partner did not share the care of the child with someone else, write 1 at (d).
    • If you met condition 1, write your FTB shared-care percentage for the child at (d) as a decimal.
    • If you met condition 2 or 3, work out the number of days that the child was with you and your partner during 20010-11 that were also eligible days (see step 2). Divide that number by the number of eligible days at (b) and write the answer at (d).

    Worksheet 1

    Working out your ETR limit

     

    Child 1

    Child 2

    Child 3

    Child 4

    Child 5

     

    Amount from step 1

    $  

    $  

    $  

    $  

    $  

    (a)

    Number of eligible days

             

    (b)

    Agreed percentage

             

    (c)

    Shared-care percentage

             

    (d)

    Multiply (b), (c) and (d)

             

    (e)

    Divide (e) by 365 (round to two decimal places)

             

    (f)

    Multiply (a) by (f)

    $  

    $  

    $  

    $  

    $  

    (g)

    Add up all the amounts at (g) and round up to the next dollar

    $  

    (h)

    The amount at (h) is your ETR limit.

    Work out the total eligible expenses you can claim ETR for

    Eligible expenses are eligible education expenses you incurred at a time when:

    • you met condition 1, 2, 3 or 4, and
    • the student met the schooling requirement.

    Step 5

    If you were an independent student, add up all your eligible expenses and write the total at (p) in worksheet 2. Ignore rows (j) to (o). Write any excess eligible expenses carried forward from 2009-10 at (q) and complete (r) and (s) Go to step 7.

    If you were single for the whole income year and you did not share the care of the child, add up all the eligible expenses that you incurred when you met condition 1, 2 or 3. Write the total at (p) in worksheet 2. Ignore rows (j) to (o). Write any excess eligible expenses carried forward from 2009-10 at (q) and complete (r) and (s). Go to step 7.

    Otherwise, read on.

    Step 6

    Add up all the eligible expenses that you and your partner incurred when you met condition 1. Write the total at (j) in worksheet 2.

    Write at (k) in worksheet 2 your FTB agreed percentage from (c) in worksheet 1.

    Add up and write at (m) in worksheet 2 all the eligible expenses that you and your partner incurred when:

    • you both met condition 2 or 3, and
    • you did not have a written agreement with your partner identifying who would claim ETR.

    Add up and write at (o) in worksheet 2 all the eligible expenses that you and your partner incurred when:

    • you both met condition 2 or 3, and
    • you had a written agreement with your partner that you would claim the ETR.

    Worksheet 2

    Working out the total expenses you can claim ETR for

    Your expenses under condition 1

    $  

    (j)

    Your FTB agreed percentage

     

    (k)

    Multiply (j) by (k)

    $  

    (l)

    Your expenses under condition 2 or 3 without a written agreement

    $  

    (m)

    Divide (m) by 2

    $  

    (n)

    Your expenses under condition 2 or 3 with a written agreement

    $  

    (o)

    Add (l), (n) and (o)

     

    (p)

    Your excess eligible expenses carried forward from 2009-10

     

    (q)

    Add (p) and (q)

     

    (r)

    Divide (r) by 2 and round up to the next dollar

     

    (s)

    The amount at (s) is the maximum amount of eligible education expenses you may claim.

    Work out the amount of your ETR

    Step 7

    Transfer the amount from (h) in worksheet 1 or (s) in worksheet 2, whichever is less, to L item T6.

    If you transferred the amount from (s) in worksheet 2 to L item T6, go to step 9. Otherwise, read on.

    Work out the excess eligible expenses you can carry forward to 2011-12

    Step 8

    Worksheet 3

    Working out the excess eligible expenses

    Transfer (s) from worksheet 2

    $  

    (s)

    Transfer (h) from worksheet 1

    $  

    (h)

    Take (h) away from (s)

    $  

    (t)

    Multiply (t) by 2

    $  

    (u)

    If the amount at (u) in worksheet 3 is less than the amount at (p) in worksheet 2, then the amount at (u) is the amount you carry forward and include in your total eligible education expenses when working out your ETR for 2011-12, provided you are still eligible to claim ETR in that year. Keep a record of the amount at (u).

    If the amount at (u) in worksheet 3 is greater than the amount at (p) in worksheet 2, then the amount at (p) is the amount you carry forward and include in your total eligible education expenses when working out your ETR for 2011-12, provided you are still eligible to claim ETR in that year. Keep a record of the amount at (p).

    Number of students

    Step 9

    Add up the number of primary school students you are claiming ETR for and write the answer at W item T6.

    Step 10

    Add up the number of secondary school students you are claiming ETR for and write the answer at X item T6.

    Definition of FTB child

    A child will be your 'FTB child' when:

    • the following criteria are met, and
    • the child is not prevented from being your FTB child by the negative test (see below

    There may be other situations in which a child will be your FTB child. If in doubt, contact the FAO.

    Basic criteria

    • The child must be in your care (see negative test).

    The child must be:

    • an Australian resident, or
    • a special category visa holder residing in Australia, or
    • living with you and you must be an Australian resident or a special category visa holder.
     
    • The child, or someone on their behalf, must not receive any social security pension or benefit or Labour Market Program payment for the child.
    • The child must be under 25 years old.

    The child either:

    • must not be your partner, or
    • if the child is under 16 years old, the child would not be your partner even if they were over the age of consent in your state or territory.

    Contact the FAO about the following situations when a child might still be your FTB child:

    • The child is taken out of your care without your consent.
    • You or the child is not in Australia.
    • The child is under 18 years old and from another relationship of your partner.

    Age-based criteria

    If the child is under 18 years old, one of the following criteria must be met:

    • You are legally responsible (or jointly legally responsible with another person) for the day-to-day care, welfare and development of the child.
    • You are a person with whom the child is supposed to live or spend time under a family law order, registered parenting plan or parenting plan that is in force for the child.
    • The child is not in the care of anyone legally responsible for their day-to-day care, welfare and development.

    If the child is 5 years old or older and under 16 years old, and they are not studying full time or engaged in a course of primary education, their adjusted taxable income (ATI) must be less than $13,010.

    If the child is 16 years old or older and under 21 years old:

    • their ATI must be less than $13,010
    • the child, or someone on their behalf, must not receive any payments under a prescribed educational scheme for the child, and
    • for the purposes of the education tax refund, the child must also from 1 January 2011:
    • have completed the final year of secondary school or an equivalent qualification, or
    • be undertaking full-time study in an approved course that, in the opinion of the FAO, will assist or allow the child to complete the final year of school or an equivalent qualification.

    If the child is 21 years old or older and under 25 years old:

    • the child must be undertaking full time study
    • their ATI must be less than $13,010, and
    • the child, or someone on their behalf, must not receive any payments under a prescribed educational scheme for the child.

    For an explanation of ATI and its components, go to the Family assistance guide

    The negative test

    If you satisfy the criteria above for a child on a day, that child is your 'FTB child' on that day unless all of the following conditions apply on that day:

    • the child is also an FTB child of one or more other person with whom you share the care of the child
    • you made a claim for FTB in respect of the child for all or part of the income year
    • you are not the partner of someone in respect of whom the child is an FTB child, and
    • the FAO has determined that you care for the child for less than 35% of the time.

    If all the conditions above apply, the child is not your 'FTB child'.

    Where to go next

     
      Last modified: 29 Jun 2011QC 25483