Can I Claim School Fees On My Tax Return In Australia?

Can I Claim School Fees On My Tax Return In Australia

Are you a parent in Australia wondering if you can get some relief from the ever-increasing burden of school fees? We all dream of giving our children the best education possible. But it can be at times costly! And therefore we look for ways to make it more affordable. 

In this comprehensive blog, we will find the answer to this question: Can you claim school fees on your tax return in Australia? After reading this blog, you will get the latest information from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) along with answers to your questions. So let’s check out!

Claiming School Fees – Is It Possible?

The Australian tax system offers various deductions and offsets to help taxpayers manage their financial responsibilities. But when it comes to school fees, the rules can be somewhat tricky! The ATO has certain guidelines on what you can and cannot claim when it comes to educational expenses. 

Many Australian families face the challenge of rising school fees, which can strain their budgets. Exploring potential tax benefits is a common avenue for relief.

Understanding The ATO’s Guidelines On Claiming School Fees On Tax Return 

ATO’s stance on claiming school fees is clear: generally, you cannot claim school fees as a deduction. This includes fees both for primary and secondary education. ATO considers these costs to be personal expenses and not deductible. 

Parents who are trying to find methods to lessen their total financial load may find it distressing because they are unable to claim school expenses.

Exceptions To The Rule

Generally, the rule is that school fees are not deductible. But certain exceptions apply which are as follows: 

  1. Self-Education Expenses: If you’re pursuing education as part of your employment or business, you may be able to claim related expenses. This typically applies to adult education or courses that directly enhance your skills and income-earning capacity.
  2. Child Care Expenses: The ATO makes a clear distinction between school fees and childcare expenses. Childcare expenses, including those incurred during school holidays or outside of school hours, can be deductible if they enable you to earn your employment income.
  3. Special Needs Education: You might be able to deduct some of your increased educational costs if your child has special needs. This may include costs for therapy or special education programmes.

Confusion Over Deductible Expenses

Understanding the specific circumstances under which you can claim education-related expenses can be challenging for many taxpayers.

Maximising Tax Benefits

While you may not be able to claim school fees directly, there are strategies to help you maximise tax benefits and manage educational costs:

Claim Other Deductions

You can focus on other deductions that you are eligible for, such as work-related expenses or charitable donations. 


Explore Education Tax Breaks

You may also check out some more government initiatives that support education, such as the Education Tax Refund (ETR) for eligible families

Consult a Tax Accountant

Seeking advice from a tax professional can help you identify any available deductions or offsets that apply to your specific situation.


Claiming school fees on your tax return in Australia is generally not possible! They are considered personal expenses. However, there are a few exceptions for specific educational expenses related to self-education, child care, and special education needs. Ensure that you understand these exceptions and explore other available deductions to help manage your financial situation better. If you have any difficulties related to taxation or want to get professional taxation advice, you may consult KPG Taxation which has tax specialists in Australia.  

Consulting with KPG Taxation

Focus On Growing Your Business, Leave The Accounting On Us!

  • Income Tax : File your taxes & get the best claims & returns.
  • Accountancy : Hire expert accountants to manage your transactions.
  • Bookkeeping : Let us handle your record books and expense reports.
  • Business Advisory : From company set-up to payroll, we handle it all.