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Education Tax Refund

Since 1 July 2008 eligible families can claim a 50% Education Tax Refund.

The aim of the Refund is to help families meet the costs of educating their children and to ensure families have access to resources (internet access, etc.) that would improve educational outcomes.  If your family is eligible you can claim a 50% refund every year for eligible education expenses. For 2011/12 you can claim up to:

  • $818 for each child engaged in primary school studies, with a maximum refundable tax offset of $409/child/year.
  • $1,616 for each child engaged in secondary school studies, with a maximum refundable tax offset of $818/child/year


  • Those parents entitled to Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A in respect of children attending primary or secondary studies for the relevant financial year.
  • Those parents with children attending primary or secondary studies where the children are eligible for FTB Part A purposes, but for the fact that the child receives certain payments or allowances (egYouth Allowance, Disability Support Pension, ABSTUDY Living Allowance).

Eligible Expenses for the ETR

  • Laptops, home computers and associated running costs (printers, paper, leasing, repairs, USB flash drives, word processing packages,)
  • Home internet connection and costs associated with set-up and maintaining (anti-virus software, internet filters)
  • Educational software
  • School textbooks and materials
  • Prescribed trade tools.
  • Uniforms Purchased from 1 July 2011 including hats, footwear and sports uniforms approved by a school as its uniform may be claimed from July 1 2012.                                                         

What is NOT Eligible?

None of the following are an eligible expense:- School fees, camps, excursions, school photos, donations, school levies, sporting or music equipment, transport or tutoring.

Where parents have more than one  eligible child the expenses can be pooled as long as each child has access to the purchased item. Expenses over the $1616 (secondary school) or $818 (primary school) can be carried forward to the next financial year, however, expenses not claimed in the year they occurred or the following financial year will lapse.

Expense receipts must be provided.

FURTHER INFORMATION: See the Education Tax Refund Fact Sheet and the ETR-What you need to know  on the ATO website.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This article is published as a guide to clients and for their private information. This article does not constitute advice. Clients should not act solely on the basis of the material contained in this article. Items herein are general comments only and do not convey advice per se. Also changes in legislation may occur quickly. We therefore recommend that our formal advice be sought before acting in any of these areas.

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