With the end of the financial year fast approaching, the question many students are asking is; am I able to claim tax deductions for my studies? In many cases, working adults undertaking self-education are entitled to a number of deductions based on their motives for study. To be able to claim for the expenses, the self-education must relate directly to your current field of work, for example completing an MBA program that you know will be likely to lead to an increase in your employment income. Whilst personal eligibility is something only the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) can advise, you should keep the below four areas in mind when looking to claim tax deductions during your MBA.
Regardless of which business school you study with, the MBA is a significant career investment. Whether you’ve chosen to pay in full or under the government funded FEE-HELP scheme, you’ll be pleased to know that it is possible to claim tax deductions during your MBA when it comes to the tuition fees. If eligible, this amount can also include fees for activities such as student services, amenities and union fees.
With each MBA subject usually comes the purchase of at least one high quality textbook or e-textbook. If you are eligible, tax deductions can be claimed on these books, as well as items such as stationery and professional or trade journals.
3. Internet bills
In the online world of today, both distance learning and on-campus students will spend a great deal of their time on the internet. From conducting research for assignments to participating in online discussion boards – internet bills can be claimed as a proportion of self-education versus private use of the total cost.
4. Study room expenses
When studying from home, it is likely that you will have a room set aside for your self-education purposes. It is therefore possible to claim tax deductions during your degree for costs such as heating, cooling and the lighting of that room whilst you are studying in it. Depreciation on capital costs of items acquired in the financial year and used for self-education purposes, such as a computer or desk, are also able to be claimed. It’s important to note that not every student is eligible to claim tax deductions during the MBA. There is however an online self-education expenses calculator provided by the ATO, which provides some useful information to get you started.
As AIB CEO, Jo has almost 20 years’ experience in senior operations and has held multiple c-suite positions at some of Australia’s most iconic companies including iSelect and Compare The Market. Jo’s academic qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in communications, complemented by an MBA completed in 2010. Connect with Jo on LinkedIn
*The Australian Institute of Business (AIB) is Australia’s largest provider of MBAs. Source Ready, B. (2023) Domestic Enrolments Surged During COVID After International Students Locked Out, MBA News. Available at: MBA News.