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Up to 50% off education costs

The Education Tax Refund (ETR) helps with the cost of educating primary and secondary school children. Eligible parents, carers, legal guardians and independent students are able to get money back on education expenses. These include items like computers, educational software, textbooks and stationery. You may get 50% of your money back.

If you get Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A, you probably are eligible for the ETR. There are also some payments that prevent you from receiving FTB Part A, but which still entitle you to receive the refund. You can also claim the refund if you are an independent student.

What items can I claim?

Eligible expenses include the cost of buying, establishing, repairing and maintaining any of the following items:

  • home computers and laptops
  • computer-related equipment such as printers, USB flash drives, and disability aids to assist in the use of computer equipment for students with special needs
  • computer repairs
  • home internet connections
  • computer software for educational use
  • school textbooks and other printed learning material, including prescribed textbooks, associated learning materials, study guides and stationery, and
  • prescribed trade tools for secondary school trade courses.

As well as the items listed above school-approved uniforms purchased from 1 July 2011 (including hats, footwear and sports uniforms) approved by the school as its uniform can be claimed in the 2011/12 tax year. 

What items can’t I claim?

You cannot claim:

  • school fees
  • student attendance at school-based extra curricular activities such as excursions and camps
  • tutoring costs
  • sporting equipment
  • musical instruments
  • school subject levies – for example, payment for consumables for particular subjects such as woodwork, art or home science
  • building levies
  • library book fees
  • school photos
  • donations
  • tuck shop expenses
  • waiting list fees
  • transport
  • membership fees, and
  • computer games and consoles.

School-approved uniforms including hats, footwear and sports uniforms approved by the school as its uniform cannot be claimed in the 2010/11 tax year.

Sharing eligible expenses

Where eligible education expenses are incurred for more than one eligible child, you can share the expense between the children. But all the children must use the purchased items and you must buy the item on a day when you satisfied the eligibility requirements for the ETR for each child. This is called pooling.


Ben and Natalie have twins in primary school. Ben purchased a computer worth $2,500 which both children use. Ben can pool the expense of the computer between the twins and claim $794 in eligible expenses for each child, making a total of $1,588 expenses that are claimed.

How do I claim?

You need to keep your receipts as you need them to calculate your entitlement and you may need them as proof of purchase.

If you lodge your tax return through KMW, we will claim on your behalf. You will just need to produce your tax receipts for eligible education expenses.

Otherwise, you need to lodge a claim for Family Tax Benefit Part A for the child. This includes approved claims where you elected to receive a zero fortnightly rate.

If you have lodged an end-of-year claim for FTB Part A, the FAO can only approve it after you lodge your tax return. In this case, when you are preparing your tax return you are not yet approved to receive FTB Part A, so you cannot claim the ETR in your tax return. If your claim for FTB Part A is approved by the FAO then you will need to ask for an amendment to your tax return to include a claim for the ETR.

If the FAO approves your claim for FTB Part A and at the time you lodged your tax return you were entitled to claim the ETR, but the FAO later, as part of its reconciliation process, determines that you were not entitled to FTB Part A you will need to ask for an amendment to your tax return to remove the claim for the ETR. If you do not seek an amendment and we later identify that you were not entitled to the ETR, we will adjust your tax return to remove your claim.

Need some more help?

Have a question about the Education Tax Refund? Please contact Jillian Taylor, ph: 3275 7400 or