Parents are encouraged to keep their receipts from education related expenses to take advantage of a federal government initiative.
The Education Tax Refund (ETR) provides parents with refunds of 50% on a range of primary and secondary school education expenses.
Parents can receive refunds of up to $375 per primary school student and $750 per secondary school student.
A family with two kids in high school and one in primary school could potentially get a refund of almost $2,000 on eligible education expenses.
Items you can claim
Parents can claim the cost of buying, establishing, repairing and maintaining any of the following items:
- school textbooks and other printed learning material, including prescribed textbooks, associated learning materials, study guides and stationery
- prescribed trade tools for secondary school trade courses
- laptop computers and home computers
- computer-related equipment such as printers, USB flash drives, as well as disability aids to assist in the use of computer equipment for students with special needs
- home internet connections
- computer software for educational use.
Items you can't claim
The types of items you can't claim include:
- school fees
- school uniform expenses
- tutoring costs
- sporting equipment
- musical instruments.
Families can claim the ETR if they have eligible education expenses and received Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A for the child that the expenses relate to.
Families are also eligible if they have children in primary or secondary school who would be eligible for FTB Part A purposes, but for the fact that the child receives certain payments or allowances, including:
- Youth Allowance
- Disability Support Pension
- ABSTUDY Living Allowance
- the Veterans' Children Education Scheme
- Student Financial Supplement Scheme
- the scheme to provide education and training under s258 of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004.
Parents have until March-April 2010 to claim out of pocket education expenses for the 2009 school year, if they lodge their individual tax returns through a tax agent.