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Student windfall evaporates as a result of new legislation


In Australian taxation law, taxpayers are entitled to claim the costs of self-education as a deduction against their assessable income only if there is a direct nexus between their employment and the area of study. The ATO adopted the view that student taxpayers in receipt of government assistance payments such as Youth Allowance could not deduct the costs of their study against the government payments. This view was challenged in the High Court in the Anstis case, in which the court held that the taxpayer should be allowed to claim the deduction.

The government subsequently introduced legislation which disallows deductions from 1 July 2011 against any government assistance payments received by taxpayers. This article revisits the facts of the decision in the Anstis case. The article traces the history of self-education and government assistance payments before examining the new legislation and drawing some conclusions.

Author profiles:

Author Photo - Dale Pinto CTA-Life
Prof Dale Pinto CTA-Life
is currently Acting Dean of the Curtin Law School and is a Professor of Taxation Law and Head of the Taxation Department of the Curtin Law School at Curtin University. He is Vice-President of the Divisional Council of CPA Australia (WA Division) and is also a Fellow of CPA Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and is a Chartered Tax Adviser and Life Member of the Tax Institute. Dale is the author/co-author of numerous books, refereed articles and national and international conference papers, and is on the editorial board of a number of peer-reviewed journals as well as being the Editor-in-Chief of several refereed journals. Dale is the Chair of the Tax Institute's National Education Quality Assurance Board and is a member of TEQSA's Expert Panel in Accounting and Taxation. Dale served as an inaugural member of the National Tax Practitioners Board and is a current member of the Board of Taxation's Advisory Panel and the ATO's Tax Technical Panel (Superannuation), as well as the Tax Institute's Technical Committees (Superannuation, Not-for-Profit Organisations and Large Business and International). Current at 05 February 2016 Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Dale PINTO.
Nicole Wilson-Rogers
Nicole is a Lecturer in Taxation Law and Taxation Principal Researcher, Applied Law and Policy Area of Research Excellence, School of Business Law and Taxation, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia. Current at 01 September 2008 Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Nicole WILSON-ROGERS.

Colleen Mortimer CTA
Colleen has been a lecturer at Curtin University since 1988. She currently teaches in a number of postgraduate tax units and has won many awards for her teaching. Prior to joining Curtin University she worked at the Australian Taxation Office and Arthur Andersen and operated her own business specialising in small businesses. Colleen is also a Senior Manager at BDO where she is responsible for the Learning and Development in both the Corporate and International tax area and the Private Clients area. She also teaches for the Tax Institute in both the CTA1 Foundations and CTA2A Advanced subjects. Current at 26 April 2016 Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Colleen Mortimer.

Annette Morgan CTA
Annette is a lecturer at Curtin University within the Taxation Area who prior to joining Curtin on a full time basis in early 2011 was employed as a Senior Tax Manager in a Perth based accounting firm. Annette has extensive experience in all areas of taxation gained from more than 25 years working within the taxation profession. Annette is a CTA, FCPA and holds a Masters in Taxation. Annette is also the Deputy chair of the Tax Institutes WA Professional Development committee. Current at 17 May 2016 Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Annette Morgan .
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