Tax-payers who pay third level fees on their own behalf or on behalf of another person will be happy to know that they can claim tax relief.
Tax relief at the standard rate is available in respect of certain third-level tuition fees paid to approved colleges. Revenue publishes a list each year of both private and public colleges approved for tax relief. The relief is given by way of a tax credit equal to the fees paid multiplied by 20% (the standard rate of tax). A credit for third level fees cannot result in an income tax refund.
What is an Approved College?
Revenue have provided guidance on what constitutes an approved college. This is a college or higher education institute in the state which provides approved courses (definition below) or an institute in the UK or another EU Member state which is maintained by recurrent grants from public funds of any EU Member State. The college in either the Irish State, the UK or in an EU Member State must be a duly accredited university or institution of that country.
What is an Approved Course?
Revenue have also provided guidance on what constitutes an approved college course. A full-time or part-time undergraduate course must be at least two academic years. A postgraduate course leading to a postgraduate award based on a thesis or on the results of an examination or both, which is between one to four years and requires the student to have a prior degree or an equivalent qualification.
Who can claim & how much can be claimed?
An individual can only claim the relief if they themselves incurred the cost of the fees. Relief is calculated on aggregated fees paid subject to a maximum of €7,000 per person, per course, per academic year where the first €3,000 (full-time) or €1,500 (part-time) is deducted. The general effect of this is that claimants who are claiming for more than one student will get full tax relief for 2nd and subsequent children in their claim.
Relief does not extend to payments such as registration fees, administration fees or student accommodation.
If in receipt of any grant or payment towards the fees, this must be deducted from the claim being made when claiming the relief.
How to claim tuition fees?
There is no specific form required to claim relief for tuition fees paid for third level education courses. An individual can use PAYE services in myAccount to apply for relief for tuition fees by completing the Form 12 or if income tax registered can claim this through their yearly tax return.
Should you require any further information or assistance in claiming the tax relief, please contact us.