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

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

22 January 2009


School's in! Keep your receipts for the Education Tax Refund

With a new school year just around the corner, today I call on parents to make sure they keep their receipts to make the most of the Rudd Government's $4.4 billion Education Tax Refund.

For millions of Australian families, preparing for the new school year can involve an extra financial strain just after the Christmas holiday period as they face hefty costs like laptops, internet connections and school textbooks.

The Education Tax Refund will provide some much-needed relief to help families meet these costs, with refunds of up to:

  • $375 per primary school student; and
  • $750 per secondary school student.

All families with school children who receive Family Tax Benefit Part A will be eligible for the Education Tax Refund, which will be paid to families from 1 July this year.

Provided parents keep their receipts, the Education Tax Refund will apply to some of the most common back-to-school items, including:

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

Parents are doing one of the most vital jobs in the country bringing up the next generation of Australians and the Rudd Government is proud to lend a helping hand.

We understand that the back-to-school period can be an expensive time and that every dollar counts, particularly as the global financial crisis continues to hit our economy.

The Education Tax Refund is a key part of the Rudd Government's Education Revolution to give Australian kids the best possible start in life and build the best educated and trained workforce in the world.

22 January 2009

Rudd Government's Education Tax Refund

How much can you claim?

By keeping their receipts, 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 refund of $375 per child, per year); and
  • $1,500 for each child undertaking secondary studies (maximum refund of $750 per child, per year).

For example, Sarah and Michael have two children, Petra, who is in secondary school and Jack, now in grade three. Through the Education Tax Refund, Sarah and Michael are able to claim 50 per cent of the cost of a $1,500 laptop computer they bought for Petra, a refund of $750.

They will also be able to claim Jack's education software and school textbooks up to the value of $750, receiving a refund of up to $375.

Where a family has educational costs in excess of the refund limit, these costs can be carried over to the next financial year.

Who is eligible?

Parents entitled to Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A for children in primary or secondary school for the relevant financial year are eligible for the Education Tax Refund.

Parents are also eligible if they have children in primary or secondary school who would be eligible children for FTB Part A purposes, but for the fact that the child receives certain payments or allowances, for example:

  • Youth Allowance;
  • Disability Support Pension; and
  • ABSTUDY Living Allowance.

How do you claim the Education Tax Refund?

Parents will then be able to claim 50 per cent of these expenses through their tax return at the end of the financial year. For those who are not required to complete an income tax return, a separate form will be available from the Australian Taxation Office.