Last year, $400 million in tax benefits went unclaimed by parents of school children for education expenses. This year, parents are being urged to keep their receipts for tax time to alleviate the financial burden that back to school expenses place on many parents. The Australian governments Education Tax Refund (ETR) scheme provides up to 50% back on a range of childrens school expenses for both primary and senior school students.
With a need for new school books, textbooks, uniforms and other equipment, the back-to-school period puts on a strain on many parents purse strings. So make sure you understand how you can claim back up to 50% of your childs education expenses come tax time.
-What can I claim? Under the ETR, parents can claim on education expenses including home and personal laptops, computer related equipment, internet connections, computer repairs, educational computer software, school textbooks, learning related texts, and stationary. For a comprehensive list on what is claimable see .
-What is the maximum amount I can claim? For the 201011 financial year, the maximum amount you can claim is $794 of expenses for primary school children, receiving a maximum refund of $397. For secondary school children you can claim $1,588 in expenses receiving a maximum refund of $794 per child.
-What about school uniforms? Kids school uniforms purchased after July 1 2011 will for the first time be included in the ETR. Parents will be able to claim on uniform costs for the 2011-12 financial year.
-NB: To claim money back on education expenses, parents must keep their receipts in order to calculate your refund and to have them on hand as proof of purchase.
The ETR is the governments way of helping with the costs of educating children, so make sure you make the most of this tax-refund scheme. Youll halve the costs of textbooks, computers and in the future Australian school uniforms, which will relieve the financial burden of educating your children.
Are you keeping your receipts?