Student finances could improve under tax ruling

Australian students may be able to claim some of their educational expenses back on tax following a major High Court ruling.

The case involved Symone Anstis, a teaching degree student at the Australian Catholic University who was blocked from claiming back $920 worth of educational expenses including textbooks, stationary, classroom supplies, student fees and some travel costs by the Commissioner of Taxation.

However, the High Court found today (November 11th) that such deductions were permissible because the youth allowance payments that Ms Anstis was receiving are regarded as assessable income under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

The expenses claimed were therefore legitimate tax deductions as she was gaining or producing her assessable income and the expenses were not of a private or domestic nature, the court found.

Speaking to the AAP after the ruling, National Union of Students president Carla Drakeford suggested it could encourage young Aussies to compare student finances and find money for various educational expenses that they could claim back later.

However, she also noted that the government may try to close the tax loophole before too many students are able to benefit from it.

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