So, can I claim self-education expenses or not? – It’s actually a little complex.

What courses are eligible to claim self-education expenses?

So now you must be thinking, what constitutes eligible self-education expenses? Can I just watch some YouTube videos and record my time in a logbook to claim my deduction? Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. The only courses that are eligible to claim the deductions for are courses which lead to a formal qualification and must:

  • Improve or maintain knowledge required to perform your job.
  • Likely to result in an increase in income in your current job.

What self-education expenses can I claim?

There are quite a few things that you can claim a deduction for. Assuming you’ve chosen a course that meets the criteria outlined above; the most common expenses are:

  • Computer expenses
  • Depreciation for equipment purchased which is over $300
  • Equipment under $300
  • Internet Costs
  • Stationary
  • Student Union Fees
  • Text Books
  • Meals and accommodation (if away from home overnight)

What self-education expenses can’t be claimed

Unfortunately, there are some things that can’t be deducted like the following:

  • Repayments towards your HELP loan
  • Repayments towards Student Supplement Financial Scheme
  • Meals (unless away from home)

$250 Reduction

Self- education expenses can be broken up into 5 categories, with most being in category ‘A’

Any expenses in category A have a $250 reduction on your deductions. To understand how each category works, please follow the table contents below provided by the ATO.


Allowable expenses
A Tuition fees, textbooks, stationery, student union fees, student services and amenities fees, public transport fares, car expenses worked out using the ‘logbook’ method, running expenses for a room set aside specifically for study.
B Decline in value (depreciation) deductions such as a computer, desk, or car for which you are claiming a deduction in Category A.
C Repair costs to assets used for self-education purposes.
D Car expenses using the ‘cents per kilometre’ method. You cannot claim car expenses under this category if you have included deductions for decline in value or repairs to your car under category B or C.
E Expenses you have incurred but cannot use as a deduction – for example:
-For work-related self-education, travel expenses for the last stage of travel from your

  • home to place of education and then to your workplace, or
  • workplace to your place of education and then to your home
  1. For taxable scholarship recipients who are not employed by the scholarship provider, travel expenses from your home to your normal place of education and back
  2. Child care costs related to attendance at lectures or other self-education activities.
  3. Capital costs of items acquired in the financial year and used for self-education purposes, such as a computer or desk.

These expenses can be used to offset the $250 reduction to your Category A expenses

© Fitzpatrick Group 2017

Pauline Campbell – Senior Accountant

A valued member of Fitzpatrick Group since 2000, Pauline has a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Accounting . She specialises in business and company tax returns, and excels at preparing and lodging BAS statements for her clients.

Jarrod Dengate

If you need a hand claiming self education expenses, let's talk.