MBA fees

Claiming MBA fees as a self education expense on your tax return


My tax return has never been anything special. I vary between owing $500 to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) or having $500 credited to me, meaning that generally my employer has withheld the right amount of tax and I haven’t had any major deductions.

I had always used HECS-HELP (a loan scheme to help eligible Commonwealth supported students to pay their student contribution amounts through a loan or upfront discounts) to pay my university fees, which is not deductible for tax purposes regardless of whether you pay upfront or not. Therefore, I foolishly assumed that my MBA fees were also not tax deductible. Luckily, a friend of mine set me straight over dinner recently.

Because my MBA fees are covered by FEE-HELP rather than HECS-HELP (I have blogged about the difference here), they are eligible to be claimed as self-education expenses provided that the following criteria is met: (more…)


The difference between HECS and FEE-HELP

When I began thinking about going back to Uni, I fretted about whether my postgraduate studies would be covered by HECS or FEE-HELP.  I had utilised HECS-HELP loans to fund the tuition for my undergraduate bachelor of laws.  In addition, I had also utilised FEE-HELP to fund two graduate certificates.

Piggy BankAll up I had borrowed around $60,000.00 worth of HELP loans.  I vaguely understood there was a life-long limit that you could reach where HELP loans would no longer be available to you and I certainly wasn’t in a position pay the MBA fees outright.   I know of people who preferred to self-fund their MBA as an added incentive to do well in the course.  Financially, that’s not an option for me so I’m very grateful for these study assistance schemes.  Further, I have been regularly paying my HELP debt back since 2009 (hellooo, disappointing tax returns) so I don’t miss that (capped) 8% chunk from my pay these days. (more…)