With the first round college offers out, it is timely to be reminded of a tax credit that is often forgotten about. This is a tax credit in respect of tuition fees for third level tuition fees.

Tax relief at the standard rate of income tax (20%) is available for tuition fees which includes the Student Contribution but does not include examination fees, registration fees and administration fees.Mortar Board

The maximum limit on such qualifying fees for the academic years 2014/2015 is €7,000 per individual per course.

Some of the qualifying tuition fees are disregarded in respect of each claim and these are:

(Where any one of the students in respect of whom relief is claimed is a full-time student)
2014 €2,750
2015 €3,000

If you have one student doing a full time course in 2015 then the first €3,000 of their fees is disregarded. If you have two students doing courses then any amount above €3,000 and below €14,000 will be allowed.

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.

Therefore if some of the fee is paid in September 2015 and some in January 2016, both can be added together in 2015 and a tax credit claimed, or the amount paid in January 2016 can be added to any further fees paid in 2016 and claimed in 2016 instead.

Relief can also be claimed for part-time courses but these amounts are less.

As usual, if you have any questions about this area, then please Contact us.