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…)
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.
All 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…)