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Eligible education expenses

Last updated 7 February 2019

An eligible education expense is one that:

  • an eligible person incurs
  • relates to the education of the child or independent student
  • is of a type specified in the law as an eligible education expense
  • was incurred on a day when the child or independent student met the schooling requirement.

Note: You should keep accurate records to help you work out your ETR claim. You should keep written evidence such as receipts and invoices to ensure that you are able to prove the information you provided on your claim. Eligible education expenses should be listed separately on invoices and receipts.

You should keep your records, usually for five years from the date you lodge your tax return or claim, unless you are subject to the shorter period of review.

You cannot claim the ETR for education expenses if either of the following apply:

  • it is an allowable tax deduction or subject to another tax offset
  • you received or are entitled to receive payment or property as reimbursement or payment for the expense under a Australian Government or legislative prescribed benefit, grant or subsidy.

Example - an apprenticeship as part of secondary school studies

Jack is enrolled in a carpentry apprenticeship as part of his secondary school studies and purchased trade tools during the year worth $2,000. As Jack is an apprentice, he is eligible for a Commonwealth grant of $800 to help with the purchase of trade tools. Since he receives $800 towards the cost of his tools, Jack's ETR education expenses are reduced to $1,200.

End of example