High Price of Education

Tax Relief for Third Level Tuition Fees

Tax relief is available for Third Level Education tuition fees paid by an individual to an approved college in respect of an approved course. 

Details of tax relief available for fees paid by an individual for ce

rtain training courses in Foreign Languages and Information Technology are available in Leaflet IT 31A

Who can claim?

An individual can claim tax relief on fees paid for Third Level courses in respect of any person as long as he or she has paid the qualifying fees. Qualifying fees refers to tuition fees (including the Student Contribution), but not examination fees, registration fees or administration fees, in respect of an approved course at an approved college. 

Amount of Relief

Tax relief is available at the standard rate of income tax (20%) for qualifying tuition fees. 

The maximum limit on such qualifying fees for the current academic year is €7,000, per individual per course. More details are available here: Leaflet IT1 – Tax Credits, Reliefs and Rates. It is also worth noting that as of Budget 2023 there is a €1,000 once off reduction to the student contribution charge for eligible third level students in the 2022/2023 academic year.

Relief is not available in respect of: 

  • any part of the tuition fees that are or will be met directly or indirectly by; grants, scholarships, an employer or otherwise 
  • administration registration or examination fees. 

While most undergraduate students attending publicly funded third level courses do not have to pay tuition fees, most third level institutions charge an annual “Student Contribution” to cover the cost of student services. This Student Contribution is regarded as a qualifying tuition fee for tax relief purposes. 

Tax relief is allowable per course, per student, per academic year. If you have paid tuition fees in respect of more than one individual attending college in an academic year, tax relief is due to you in respect of the fees paid for each person up to the maximum limit per course. 

The amounts of qualifying tuition fees shown below are disregarded in respect of each claim. 

  • Full time – €3,000 
  • Part Time – €1,500 

The above amounts are in respect of a claim, the subject of which may be one or more students. Therefore if you are claiming for more than one student you will get full relief, subject to the maximum limit, for the 2nd and subsequent students claimed. 

The following examples outline how the relief works: 

Claim in respect of one student in third level education 

One full time student in a Public College

Student Registration fees  Student Contribution  Tax Relief 
Not applicable  €3,000  Nil (€3,000 less disregard of €3,000) 

One part-time student in a Public College 

Student fees  Student Contribution  Total  Tax Relief 
€5,000  €3,000  €8,000  €1,100 (Max. €7,000 less disregard of €1,500 = €5,500 @ 20%) 

Three students all full-time in Public Colleges

Student fees  Student Contribution  Total  Tax Relief 
Not applicable  €3,000 per student  €9,000  €1,200 (€9,000 less disregard of €3,000 = €6,000@ 20%) 

Payment of Tuition Fees in instalments

Where fees are paid in instalments and are paid in a tax year following the year in which the course commenced, the relief 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. 

How is the relief claimed?

The relief can be claimed during the tax year once the fees have been paid. A revised Tax Credit Certificate showing the relief due will then be issued to you. 

Alternatively a claim can be made at the end of the tax year by submitting your end of year return to Revenue via your My Account. Your income tax liability for the year will be reviewed and Revenue will make any refund that you may be due. 

If you are self-employed this tax credit is claimed by completing the Tuition Fees section on your annual tax return. 

If you cannot access myAccount you can claim the relief by completing the relevant claim form and forward it to Revenue. 

A separate claim must be completed where you are claiming relief in respect of more than one student. 

Details of any payment(s) received or to be received towards the fees must accompany the claim. You should retain all receipts for a period of 6 years as they may be requested for verification at a later date. 

A claim for repayment of tax must be made within four years after the end of the tax year to which the claim relates. 

Note:  You must notify Revenue within 21 days if you receive a refund or partial refund of tuition fees paid. Failure to do so may result in a penalty of €3,000.

Lists of Approved Colleges and Courses

A list of approved Third Level colleges is available here.

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