The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

13 May 2008

NO.039

Joint Press Release
with
The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Education,
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations,
Minister for Social Inclusion

$4.4 Billion to Help Families Meet Schooling Costs

Australian working families are set to benefit from the Rudd Government's decision to create a new Education Tax Refund, to help with the costs of education.

About 1.3 million families (with 2.7 million students) will be eligible for the refund tax offset which is expected to benefit Australian families by more than $1 billion a year.

Eligible families will be able to claim a 50 per cent refund every year for key education expenses up to:

  • $750 for each child undertaking primary studies

(maximum refundable tax offset of $375 per child, per year)

  • $1500 for each child undertaking secondary studies
    (maximum refundable tax offset of $750 per child, per year).

Families receiving Family Tax Benefit (Part A) with children undertaking primary or secondary studies or whose school children receive Youth Allowance or another relevant payment (see Attachment) will be eligible for the Education Tax Refund.

The refundable tax offset will apply to expenses incurred from 1 July 2008 and will be claimed upon lodgement of a 2008–09 income tax return.

Eligible families will be able to recoup the cost of purchases including:

  • laptops;
  • home computers and associated costs;
  • home internet connection;
  • printers;
  • education software;
  • trade tools for use at school;
  • school text books; and
  • stationery.

Eligible expenses are for items that support a child during school and improve the quality of education.

Parents will then be able to claim 50 per cent of these expenses through their tax return at the end of the financial year.

Together with other measures in A Tax Plan for Australia's Future, the Education Tax Refund will ease cost of living pressures for families and is another step towards creating a world-class school education system.

13 May 2008

 


 

Attachment

Eligible Education Tax Refund recipients

The Education Tax Refund will be available to Family Tax Benefit (Part A) (FTB A) recipients with children undertaking primary or secondary school studies for the relevant financial year. This includes eligible families of registered home-schooled students.

Children undertaking primary or secondary school studies who would otherwise be eligible to be an FTB A child but for the fact they are living independently of their parents or are in receipt of one of the following payments or allowances will also be eligible:

  • Youth Allowance
  • Disability Support Pension
  • ABSTUDY
  • the Veterans' Children Education Scheme
  • Student Financial Supplement Scheme
  • the scheme under section 258 of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004

Supporting information: Education Tax Refund

Why is this important?

  • Delivering on the Rudd Government's election commitment and building on the Education Revolution, the Education Tax Refund (ETR) aims to help families with children undertaking primary or secondary studies meet the costs of school education. Together with other measures in A Tax Plan for Australia's Future, the ETR will ease cost of living pressures for working families and will help build a world-class school education system.
  • Under the Governments' 50 per cent ETR, eligible families will be able to claim:
    • a 50 per cent refundable tax offset every year for up to $750 of education expenses for each child undertaking primary studies (maximum payment of $375 per child, per year).
    • a 50 per cent refundable tax offset every year for up to $1500 of education expenses for each child undertaking secondary studies (maximum payment of $750 per child, per year).

Who will benefit?

  • Approximately 1.3 million families (with 2.7 million students) will be eligible for the refundable tax offset. Families receiving Family Tax Benefit (Part A) with children undertaking primary or secondary studies or whose school children receive Youth Allowance or another relevant payment will be eligible for the ETR. Eligible families of registered home schooled students will also be able to claim the ETR.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • More than $1 billion annually.

Timeframe for delivery, i.e. when will the initiative commence and conclude?

  • The refunable tax offset will apply to expenses incurred from 1 July 2008 and will be claimed upon lodgement of a 2008–09 income tax return.
  • Funding is currently appropriated until 2011–12.