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myTax 2018 Work-related self-education expenses

How to complete the self-education expenses section of your return using myTax.

Last updated 27 June 2018

This section is about self-education expenses that are related to your work as an employee, and that you incur when you do a course to get a formal qualification from a school, college, university or other place of education.

To claim a deduction for self-education expenses, you must have met one of the following conditions when you incurred the expense:

  • the course maintained or improved a skill or specific knowledge required for your then current work activities
  • you could show that the course was leading to, or was likely to lead to, increased income from your then current work activities, or
  • other circumstances existed which established a direct connection between the course and your then current work activities.

You cannot claim a deduction for self-education for a course that:

  • relates only in a general way to your current employment or profession, or
  • will enable you to get new employment.

You cannot claim any deductions against government assistance payments, including Austudy, ABSTUDY and youth allowance.

If, when you incurred your expenses you satisfied the conditions necessary to claim a deduction, you can claim the following:

  • your tuition fees payable under FEE-HELP (FEE-HELP provides assistance to eligible fee-paying students, who are not supported by the Commonwealth, to pay tuition fees)
  • your tuition fees payable under VET FEE-HELP [VET FEE-HELP provides assistance to eligible full-fee paying students doing vocational education and training (VET) accredited courses with an approved VET provider]
  • self-education expenses you paid with your OS-HELP loan (OS-HELP is a loan to cover expenses for eligible Commonwealth supported students who wish to study overseas towards their Australian higher education award)
  • the cost of your meals and accommodation during temporary overnight absences from home to participate in self-education
  • your other expenses such as textbooks, stationery, student union fees, student services and amenities fees, course fees, and the decline in value of your computer (apportioned depending on private use and use for self-education)
  • expenses for your travel in either direction between
    • your home and your place of education
    • your workplace and place of education.
      Only the first leg of the trip is deductible if you went from home to your place of education and then to work, or the other way around.

You cannot claim contributions you, or the Australian Government, make under HECS-HELP or repayments you make under the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), the Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS), the Student Startup Loan (SSL) or the Trade Support Loans Program (TSL).

Expenses relating to foreign employment income

If you received assessable income from your work as an employee outside of Australia that is shown on a PAYG payment summary - foreign employment, you must claim any work-related self-education expenses you incurred in earning that income at this section.

If you received assessable foreign employment income that is not shown on a PAYG payment summary - foreign employment you must claim your deductions against that income at Foreign employment in the Foreign income, assets and entities section.

Want to know what work-related expenses you may be entitled to claim?

We provide information to help you understand what you may be able to claim at Deductions you can claim.

Do not show at this section

Do not show at this section deductions for the cost of:

  • formal education courses provided by professional associations
  • seminars, education workshops or conferences connected to work.

Show these at Other work-related expenses in the Deductions section.

Depreciation and capital allowances tool

You can use the Depreciation and capital allowances tool to work out any deductible decline in value.

The tool can be accessed when you add your self-education expenses and

  • Category type is 'Decline in value', or
  • Category type is 'Car expenses' and Calculation method is 'Logbook'.

The following video shows you how to use the Depreciation and capital allowances tool.


Completing this section

To complete this section you will need written evidence. For more information about what is written evidence, see Keeping your tax records.

We have pre-filled your tax return with work-related self-education expense information provided to us. Check for work-related self-education expenses that are not pre-filled and ensure you add them.

  1. For each work-related self-education expense that has not been pre-filled in your tax return, select Add.
  2. Select the Self-education type that best describes your circumstances at the time you incurred the expenses.
  3. Select the Category type and enter your description.
    • For General expenses, Decline in value, Repair expenses and Non-deductible expenses enter your amount, or use the Depreciation and capital allowances tool to calculate your decline in value amount.
    • For Car expenses select the calculation method you wish to use.
      • If you select the 'Cents per kilometre' method, enter the number of business kilometres you travelled.
      • If you select the 'Logbook' method, enter the information into the corresponding fields. MyTax will calculate the total car expenses.
        If you have calculated the decline in value of your car, enter the amount without any reduction for personal use. MyTax will multiply the decline in value you enter by the percentage of business use.
        If you used the Depreciation and capital allowances tool to work out the decline in value, the calculated amount will automatically exclude the personal use percentage. To display results from the tool you must select the logbook method. 
  4. Select Save.

    myTax will work out the total amount you can claim for your work-related self-education expenses from the information you provide. In working out what you can claim, certain costs are reduced by $250. For more information, see Calculated total.
  5. Select Save and continue.


  • you may want to work out your car expenses using different methods to see which gives you the largest deduction and then save the one that does. To work out the deduction you can claim at this section for car and travel expenses, see Work-related car expenses and Work-related travel expenses
  • if you used the Depreciation and capital allowances tool, fields containing information from the tool cannot be directly adjusted in myTax. To make any adjustments to this information, or to add new assets to the tool, select Work it out.

Tax tip

To make working out your deductions easier next year, start keeping your records now. For more information, see Keeping your tax records.

Find out how myTax works out the total amount you can claim for your work-related self-education expenses.

Additional information on self-education expenses and guide to depreciating assets.