Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (280)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

280. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Finance if he will outline the tax relief available on tuition fees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32291/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

Section 473A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides, subject to certain conditions, for tax relief at the standard rate of income tax (20%) as regards a portion of qualifying fees paid by an individual in respect of a third level education course including a postgraduate course. Qualifying fees means tuition fees in respect of an approved course at an approved college and includes what is referred to as the “student contribution”. No other fees (e.g. administration fees, examination fees, capitation fees) qualify for tax relief. For the tax year 2011 and subsequent tax years, the maximum qualifying fee per course per academic year is €7,000.

The tax relief is confined to tuition fees actually borne by the claimant. Tuition fees that are, or will be, met directly or indirectly by grants, scholarships, employer contribution or other means are to be deducted in arriving at the fees qualifying for tax relief.

An individual can claim tax relief on fees paid by him or her in respect of an approved course pursued by other individuals (e.g. a son or daughter) and that the claim may cover more than one student. Only a portion of the qualifying fees in each claim is eligible for relief. Each claim is restricted by the amount shown in the following table.

Year

Full time

(Where any one of the students in respect of whom relief is claimed is a full-time student).

Part time

(Where all the students in respect of whom relief is claimed are part-time students).

2011

€2,000

€1,000

2012

€2,250

€1,125

2013

€2,500

€1,250

2014

€2,750

€1,375

2015

€3,000

€1,500

The restriction applies to each claim, the subject of which may be one or more students. Therefore, if a person is claiming for more than one student they will get full relief, subject to the maximum limit, for the second and subsequent students claimed.

Example

A parent with two children in college full time in the academic year 2013/14 and paying €8,000 in fees (including the ‘student contribution’) for each child gets the following relief.

Maximum qualifying fee per student per year is €7,000 by two = €14,000

Less the 2013 restriction €2,500 = €11,500

Tax relief @20% = €2,300

Question No. 281 answered with Question No. 100.