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Self-education reduction in expenses

How to calculate your self-education expenses deduction and whether you need to reduce your deduction by $250.

Last updated 25 April 2023

What is the $250 reduction?

Before 1 July 2022, you were required to reduce your allowable self-education expenses by $250 to calculate your deduction.

Expenses from 1 July 2022

If you're claiming a deduction for self-education expenses incurred from 1 July 2022:

  • you no longer need to reduce your allowable expenses by $250
  • you can claim a deduction for all allowable self-education expenses
  • the information below does not apply to you.

Expenses before 1 July 2022

If you're claiming a deduction for self-education expenses incurred before 1 July 2022, you may have to reduce your allowable self-education expenses by $250.

That is, you may need to reduce your self-education expenses for 2021–22 or earlier income years.

Calculating your claim

Use the calculator to work out your eligibility to claim a deduction and the amount of your self-education deduction.

Alternatively, you can work it out manually using the following procedures.

There are 5 categories of self-education expenses, as shown in the table below.

Self-education expense categories




Tuition fees, textbooks, stationery, student union fees, student services and amenities fees, public transport fares, car expenses worked out using the 'logbook' method (other than the decline in value of a car), running expenses for a room set aside specifically for study.


Decline in value (depreciation) deductions for items such as a computer, desk, or car for which you are claiming a deduction in Category A under the 'logbook' method.


Repair costs to assets used for self-education purposes. Don't include car repair expenses here as it is part of car expenses in Category A or D.


Car expenses using the 'cents per kilometre' method – you can't use this method if you have used the 'logbook' method in category A.


Expenses you have incurred but can't claim as a deduction – for example:

  • child care costs related to attendance at lectures or other self-education activities
  • for work-related self-education, travel expenses for the last stage of travel from your      
    • home to place of education and then to your workplace, or
    • workplace to your place of education and then to your home
  • for taxable bonded scholarship recipients who are not employed by the scholarship provider, travel expenses from your home to your normal place of education and back
  • capital costs of items acquired in the income year and used for self-education purposes, such as a computer or desk (you can take the cost of the asset into account for the purpose of category E in this table; it doesn't affect your decline in value (depreciation) deductions at category B in this table).

While you can't claim a deduction for these expenses, you can use them to offset the $250 reduction to your allowable self-education expenses where you incurred them before 1 July 2022.

From 1 July 2022 you do not need to record category E expenses.

Reducing your expenses by $250

If the total of your expenses consists solely of Category A items, your total must be reduced by $250.

Example: category A expenses

Maureen is an apprentice hairdresser studying hairdressing at a TAFE college. Her course fees, textbooks and public transport fares are all Category A expenses totalling $290. Maureen does not have any expenses in category B, C D or E. Maureen can only claim $40 after the $250 reduction.

End of example

If you have expenses in Categories C, D or E, you can use these amounts to offset against the $250 reduction before you reduce your Category A amount.

The formula for calculating your claim for work-related self-education expenses is:

Total claim estimate = (A − [$250 − (C+D+E expenses)]) +B+C+D

If the total of (C+D+E expenses) is greater than $250 it is reduced to 0 (zero), not a negative amount. For example, if the total of your Categories C, D and E expenses is $290, then the amount in square brackets in the formula above will be nil ($250 − $250=$0) and your deduction for self-education expenses will be the total of your Categories A, B, C and D expenses.

To calculate an estimate of your claim, complete the steps in the following table.

Steps to manually calculate your claim

Step 1: Add together the expenses you incurred for Category A expenses.

Step 2: Add together the totals for your Categories C, D and E expenses.

Step 3:Subtract the Step 2 total from $250. If this is a negative amount, show '0' (zero).

Step 4: Subtract the Step 3 amount from the Step 1 amount. If this is a negative amount, show '0' (zero).

Step 5: Add the Step 4 amount to Categories B, C and D expenses. This amount is the estimate of your self-education claim.

When calculating travel expenses for a car, you can only use one calculation method. If you choose to include car expenses in Category A using the 'logbook' method, you can't calculate an amount for Category D using the 'cents per kilometre' method.

A car's repair expenses should be included as part of car expenses in Category A if you are using the logbook method. If you are using the cents per kilometre method, repairs to your car are covered by the rate per kilometre and are included at the amount shown at Category D. Do not include a car's repair expenses in Category C.

If you are claiming car expenses at more than one question (for example, at ‘Work-related self-education expenses’ and ‘Work-related car expenses’) then you will need to allocate the applicable expenses between the questions. You must use the same method (logbook or cents per kilometre) for calculating your work-related car expenses and your work-related self-education car expenses.

For more information see TR 98/9 Income tax: deductibility of self-education expenses incurred by an employee or a person in business