Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Questions (52)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

52. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Finance the tax relief available on third level fees paid for a repeating student; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14356/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

Section 473A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides for tax relief at the standard rate of income tax (20%) in respect of qualifying fees paid by an individual for a third level education course, including a postgraduate course.  No differentiation is made between a repeating student and a first time student.   

Qualifying fees mean 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.  Tuition fees that are, or will be, met directly or indirectly by grant, scholarship, employer contribution or other means are deducted in arriving at the net qualifying fees. A claim for relief may be made in respect of a number of students.   

In making a claim for relief for the tax year 2013, the maximum amount of fees that can qualify for the relief is €7,000 per student, but an amount set out in the legislation must be disregarded from each claim (whether in respect of one or more students).  Where a claim for relief includes fees paid on behalf of at least one full-time student, the disregard is €2,500.  Where a claim for relief includes fees solely paid on behalf of a part-time student or part-time students, the amount disregarded is €1,250.  Thus, for example, a family with two siblings attending college on a full-time basis, where tuition fees of €8,000 per student apply, would attract relief of €2,300 made up as follows:

Tuition fees 

€16,000

Capped at

€14,000 Less €2,500

€11,500 @ 20% = €2,300