There needs to be the necessary nexus (connection) to your current income for these expenses to be claimable as a self-education deduction. This means that self-education needs to help you in your current job and not be undertaken to open up new job opportunities.
Example 1: Amanda is a pharmacy sales assistant who is studying for a pharmacy degree so that she can become a pharmacist. The expenses related to the study are not allowable as the study is designed to open up a new income-earning activity.
Example 2: Barry, a trainee accountant, is studying commerce part-time at university. He is allowed a deduction for the costs associated with the course because it will enable Barry to maintain or increase the specific knowledge required in his current position and to carry out his duties more effectively.
Are my education expenses claimable against AUSTUDY?
In March 2012 legislation was passed and Tax Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No. 1) Bill 2012 now denies any deduction for study expenses for full-time students who are in receipt of Youth Allowance, Austudy or Abstudy. Disallowing a deduction for expenses incurred in gaining or producing a debatable benefit recognizes that taxable government assistance payments are effectively tax-free and individuals should not be able to receive an additional benefit by way of a tax deduction against their assessable income for any expenses they incur in qualifying for the payment.
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