Maximising Your Tax Refund as Student

Finance & Money Blog

As a student, you don't tend to have the most lucrative jobs so it's important to make sure that you maximise your deductions and get back as much as possible from your tax return.

Maximise Your Deductions

If the course that you are studying has some relationship to your employment in that it will help you maintain your employment or gain an increase in income, you can claim deductions relating to self-education. This could include doing a general management courses if you work in retail, some tourism courses if you work in travel, a nursing or medical qualification if you in health care and so on.

This is in addition to the tax deductions you can claim due to expenses you occur in the process of your work such as laundering of uniforms or purchase of specialise equipment.

If your primary source of income while studying is a taxable scholarship, you can also claim deductions in most cases for costs towards your study. In most cases the course fees, costs of textbooks and stationery and the cost of travelling to and from your place of study.

Use Your Tax-free Threshold Wisely

If you also claim government payments as well as earning money from employment or scholarships, you can only claim the tax-free threshold in one place. If you claim in multiple places you are likely to incur a debt to the government, so while you might have more money in the pocket regularly you will need to pay back a lump sum at the tax return time.

Tracking Your Expenses

Many of the smaller expenses are easy to pay with out easily keeping a track - such as pens, printing and parking. Keeping a logbook in the glove box of your car is an easy place to jot down expenses as they occur so you can total them up at the year for easier deductions.

Meet with a Tax Agent

Meet with the same tax agent each year, and you'll find that the tax agent can keep a track of your expenses and help you maximise deductions year to year, such as the depreciation of computing equipment that you use for study. The tax agent fees are tax deductible and tax agents also keep a track of tax judgements which can be back dated, so can help you submit adjustments for previous years when you can back claim deductions.

Making time to deal with your tax refund is a good habit to start as a student, and will set you up well for professional life.


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