Self-education expenses



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

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Did you have self-education expenses relating to your work as an employee?

Self-education expenses are expenses related to a prescribed course of education provided by a school, college, university or other place of education. The course must be undertaken to gain a formal qualification for use in carrying on a profession, business or trade or in the course of employment. You can claim a deduction for the cost of self-education if there is a direct connection between your self-education and your work activities at the time the expense was incurred.

Claim self-education expenses at item D4 on your tax return.

Claim at item D5 the costs you incur in attending seminars, conferences, education workshops and training courses that are sufficiently connected to your work activities, see Other expenses.

Self-education expenses are not deductible if your study is designed to get you:

  • a job
  • a new job, or
  • income from a new income-earning activity.

For example, Joan is an accounts clerk in the Army Ordnance Corps and studying for an accounting diploma at university. She can claim a deduction for the cost of this course because it is related to her current job and the study will enhance her promotion prospects.

Self-education expenses can include:

the decline in value of equipment to the extent you use it for self-education purposes (see Capital allowances).

You cannot claim costs met by your employer or costs that are reimbursed, see reimbursements.

In certain circumstances you may have to reduce your deduction for self-education expenses by $250. However, you may have other types of expenses (some of which are not deductible) that can be offset against the $250 before you have to reduce the amount you can claim.

See question D4 in Individual tax return instructions for more information on self-education expenses.

Work it out

Our Self-education expenses calculator can help you work out your self-education expenses.

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Last modified: 06 Jul 2015QC 39789