Fee-HELP and Deductibility of Course Fees

If you are studying a course relating to your current employment and you defer payment of the fees by using Fee-HELP will the fees still be deductible even though you do not pay it upfront?

Yes.

ATO ID 2005/26 states:

“Even though the taxpayer has obtained a loan for all or part of the fees for the course under FEE-HELP, this does not preclude the taxpayer from claiming a deduction for the expenses incurred in relation to the course.”

Example

Bart is a registered tax agent and is doing a Masters in Tax course and decides to use Fee-HELP to defer payment of the course because he is low on funds at the moment. So he enrols and incurs the debt of $10,000 for his subjects. He can claim a $10,000 deduction, save about $3,000 in tax, and not have to directly pay for the course until many years later when his taxable income rises above the repayment threshold – which is $51,957 in the 2018-19 tax year.

References

ATO ID 2005/26

https://www.ato.gov.au/law/view/document?docid=AID/AID200526/00001

See also these recent private rulings:

Authorisation Number: 1051472588169

Authorisation Number: 1051479369722

Authorisation Number: 1051479812479

Authorisation Number: 5010056303358

Discuss at

https://www.propertychat.com.au/community/threads/tax-tip-198-fee-help-and-deductibility-of-course-fees.38948/

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