As I am writing this blog, the kids are just starting back to school for the first time in 2011. I thought it would be an opportune time to suggest keeping your receipts for your recent purchases that may be claimed on the 2011 tax return for the Education Tax Refund (ETR).

If you are receiving Family Tax Benefits Part A and have children in either Secondary or Primary School you may be eligible to claim the following as part of the Education Tax Refund:

  • Eligible expenses include the cost of buying, establishing, repairing and maintaining any of the following items:
  • laptop computers and home computers
  • computer-related equipment such as printers, USB flash drives, as well as 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.

The maximum that can be claimed for the Education Tax Refund for 2011 for Secondary School is 50% of $1,558 in eligible expenses and for Primary School it is 50% of $780 in eligible expenses.

Any amounts greater than the $1,558 and $780 amounts that is spent on the eligible education expenses can be carried forward and claimed in future years.

For computer purchases and internet connections used by the children there is no need to apportion the costs based on their usage.


  1. I didn’t claim for the Education Tax Refund back in 2009-2010 financial year, even I spent $500 for internet connection. My child started primary school in 2008. Can I still claim for it together with 2010-2011 financial year?

    1. The claims need to be made in the relevant year, you may be able to amend the 2010 tax return to reflect the changes.

  2. You can still claim for 2009 at any time but if you already lodged a tax return for 2009 you have 2 years from original assessment to request an amendment

    1. Quite true Tony, you do have 2 years from the assessment date to amend.

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