Release type: Media Release

Date:

$4.4 billion to help families meet schooling costs

Joint Media Release with The Hon Wayne Swan MP, Treasurer

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 refundable tax offset every year for key education expenses up to:

  • $750 for each child undertaking primary studies(maximum refund of $375 per child, per year)
  • $1500 for each child undertaking secondary studies(maximum refund 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;
  • prescribed trade tools for use at school;
  • school text books; and
  • stationery.

Together with other measures inA 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.

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