Have you undertaken studies at an educational institution, attended conferences/seminars or commenced an online learning program this financial year?
If so, do you know you may be be able to claim self-education expenses in your 2017 tax return?
Self-education expenses may be tax deductible if there is a direct link between your assessable income and the educational activity and satisfies one of the following:
• The course enables you to maintain or improve the skills or knowledge necessary to carry out your current employment
• The course leads to, or is likely to lead to, an increase in your income from your current employment activities
You cannot claim a deduction for self-education expenses if the course enables you to:
• Gain new employment
• Gain employment in a new field
• Open new income earning opportunities in the future
These are considered by the ATO to be obtained at a point too soon to earning income.
If your course is deductible as per above you may be able to claim the following expenses:
• Course fees
• Textbooks, professional and trade journals
• Stationery and postage
• Travel – flights, motor vehicle kilometers, parking, accommodation & meals
• Electronic items, office equipment & furniture (items above $300 are subject to depreciation)
• Telephone & internet
• Home running expenses
Currently, the ATO requires the first $250 of self-education expenses to be non-deductible if your total expenses consist only of textbooks, stationary, fees and travel. If part of your self-education expenses are for personal or other purposes they must be apportioned to an allowable deduction component.
Expenses you can’t claim
• Loan repayments such as Hecs-Help, Fee-Help and SFSS
• Home office occupancy expenses such as electricity, gas & water
• Meals if you’re not sleeping away from home
• Certain travel expenses
If your total deductions exceed $300 you must keep written evidence to substantiate your claim.
For more information call Optima Partners at 0862672200 to provide you with tailored advice.