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The ATO advises that, as a result of the High Court decision in FCT v Anstis [2010] HCA 40; 2010 ATC ¶20-221; 76 ATR 735 in November 2010, some taxpayers may be eligible to claim a deduction for study expenses if they received Austudy or ABSTUDY and, if they are Newstart recipients or Youth allowance job seekers, they may be eligible to claim deductions for costs incurred in actively seeking paid work.

The ATO will amend tax assessments of eligible Austudy and ABSTUDY recipients to include a tax deduction for study expenses for the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 income years. The ATO will issue amended assessments to include a deduction of $550 for each year a taxpayer is eligible. The $550 deduction amount is based on information published by academic institutions of the average amounts of study expenses of $800. The law makes the first $250 not deductible.

Students who received Youth allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY in the 2011 year and incurred study expenses can claim a deduction for these expenses when they lodge their tax return, but will need to have evidence to support their claims.

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