Tax relief at the standard rate of income tax (20%) is available for third level education tuition fees which includes the Student Contribution but does not include examination fees, registration fees and administration fees.
The maximum limit on such qualifying fees for the academic years 2014/2015 is €7,000 per individual per course.
Who can claim?
An individual can claim tax relief on fees paid for third level courses in respect of any person as long as he or she has paid the qualifying fees. The fees must be in respect of an approved course at an approved college. If you have paid tuition fees in respect of more than one individual attending college in an academic year, tax relief is due to you in respect of the fees paid for each person up to the maximum limit per course.
A certain amount of qualifying tuition fees are disregarded in respect of each claim, the subject of which may be one or more students. Therefore if you are claiming for more than one student you will get full relief, subject to the maximum limit, for the 2nd and subsequent student claimed.
The current amounts disregarded are as follows:
Full-time (where any one of the students in the claim is a full-time student) €3,000
Part-time (where all of the students in the claim are part-time students) €1,500
Relief is not available in respect of:
- any part of the tuition fees that are or will be met directly or indirectly by grants, scholarships, by an employer or otherwise
- administration, registration or examination fees.
What happens if fees are paid by instalments?
Where fees are paid in instalments and any such amounts are paid in a tax year following the year in which the academic year of the approved course commenced, the relief for fees relating to that academic year may be granted either:
- in the tax year during which the academic year of the approved course commenced or
- in the tax year in which the instalment was paid.
However, relief will only be granted in respect of amounts actually paid, subject to the maximum relief available in that academic year.
Approved Colleges for the purpose of the tuition fees tax relief include:
- Universities, Public and Private Colleges and Institutes of Higher Education in the State, which provides courses that are approved for higher education grants.
- Colleges or Institutions of Higher Education in the State which operate in accordance with certain codes of standards laid down by the Minister for Education and Skills (these colleges and institutions must be approved by the Department of Education and Skills for the purposes of this tax relief).
- Publicly funded or duly accredited Universities and Institutions of Higher Education in another EU Member State.
- A College or institution of Higher Education in any other EU Member State providing distance education in this State, which provides courses approved for the Higher Education Grants Scheme (this includes the Open University).
- Publicly funded or duly accredited Universities and Institutions of Higher Education in non-EU Member States (N.B. applies to postgraduate courses only).
- Colleges or Institutions (in the State and in any EU Member State) which provides distance education in the State and which operate in accordance with a certain code of standards laid down by the Minister for Education and Skills (these colleges and institutions must be approved by the Department of Education and Skills for the purposes of this relief).
Approved Undergraduate Courses
Undergraduate courses must:
- be carried out in an approved college,
- be of at least 2 academic years duration and
- in the case of courses carried out in colleges and institutions that require approval by the Department of Education and Skills for the purposes of this tax relief, the course must be approved by that Department.
Approved Postgraduate Courses
Postgraduate courses must:
- be carried out in an approved college;
- be of at least 1 academic year but no more than 4 academic years in duration; and
- lead to a postgraduate award based on either a thesis or an examination.
Also, the person taking the course must already have a primary degree or equivalent qualification.
How is the relief claimed?
The relief can be claimed either by submitting an annual tax return at the end of the tax year to review your tax liability, or a claim can be made during a tax year for that year once the fees have been paid. In this case an amended Tax Credit Certificate showing the relief due is issued.
For further information, please contact us at 091 778911 or via website contact page