Tax Relief for Tuition Fees in respect of Third Level education IT 31

Tax Relief for Tuition Fees in respect of Third Level education IT 31

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 certain 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 means tuition fees (including the Student Contribution, post 2011), 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 academic year 2014/2015 is €7,000, per individual per course.

The amount of relief available for the current year: Leaflet IT1 – Tax Credits, Reliefs and Rates.

Maximum limit for academic year, per course, per student
Academic yearMaximum Limit (cap)
2010€5,000
2011€7,000
2012€7,000
2013€7,000
2014/15€7,000

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, by an employer or otherwise
  • administration registration or examination fees.

For the tax year 2010 and prior years the tax relief is confined to tuition fees only.

For the tax year 2011 and subsequent tax years, the tax relief is allowable in respect of tuition fees including the Student Contribution. As per prior years, no other fees qualify for relief.

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 in the table below are disregarded in respect of each claim.

Discarded amounts – full time and part time students – 2011-2015
YearFull 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 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 student claimed.

The following examples outline how the relief works:

Claim in respect of one student in third level education

Public Colleges (Example 1)

One full time student in a Public College
YearStudent Registration feesStudent ContributionTax Relief
2010€1,500
Registration fees
Not applicableNil
Student registration fees not allowable
2011Not applicable€2,000Nil
(€2,000 less disregard of €2,000)
2012Not applicable€2,250Nil
€2,250 less disregard of €2,250)
2013Not applicable€2,500Nil
(€2,500 less disregard of €2,500)

Public Colleges (Example 2)

One part-time student in a public college
YearStudent feesStudent ContributionTotalTax Relief
2010€5,000Not applicable€5,000€1,000
(€5,000 @ 20%)
2011€5,000€2,000€7,000€1,200
(€7,000 less disregard of €1,000
= €6,000 @ 20%)
2012€5,000€2,250€7,250€1,175
(Max. €7,000 less disregard of €1,125
= €5,875 @ 20%)
2013€5,000€2,500€7,500€1,150
(Max. €7,000 less disregard of €1,250
= €5,750 @ 20%)

Private Colleges (Example 3)

One full-time student in a private college
YearStudent feesStudent ContributionTotalTax Relief
2010€8,000Not applicable€8,000€1,000
(Max. €5,000 @ 20%)
2011€8,000€2,000€10,000€1,000
(Max. €7,000 less disregard of €2,000
= €5,000 @ 20%)
2012€8,000€2,250€10,250€950
(Max. €7,000 less disregard of €2,250
= €4,750 @ 20%)
2013€8,000€2,500€10,500€900
(Max. €7,000 less disregard of €2,500
= €4,500 @ 20%)

Private Colleges (Example 4)

One part-time student in a private college
YearStudent feesStudent ContributionTotalTax Relief
2010€5,000Not applicable€5,000€1,000
(€5,000 @ 20%)
2011€5,000€2,000€7,000€1,200
(€7,000 less disregard of €1,000
= €6,000 @ 20%)
2012€5,000€2,250€7,250€1,175
(Max. €7,000 less disregard of €1,125
= €5,875 @ 20%)
2013€5,000€2,500€7,500€1,150
(Max. €7,000 less disregard of €1,250
= €5,750 @ 20%)

Claim in respect of three students in third level education

Public Colleges (Example 5)

Three students all full-time in public colleges
YearStudent Registration feesStudent ContributionTotalTax Relief
2010€1,500
Registration fees per student
Not applicableNilNil
Student registration fees not allowable
2011Not applicable€2,000 per student€6,000€800
(€6,000 less disregard of €2,000
= €4,000 @ 20%)
2012Not applicable€2,250 per student€6,750€900
(€6,750 less disregard of €2,250
= €4,500 @ 20%)
2013Not applicable€2,500 per student€7,500€1,000
(€7,500 less disregard of €2,500
= €5,000 @ 20%)

Public Colleges (Example 6)

Three students all full-time in public colleges
YearStudent feesStudent ContributionTotalTax Relief
2010€5,000
per student
(excluding registration fees)
Not applicable€15,000€3,000
(€15,000 @ 20%)
2011€5,000
per student
€2,000
per student
€21,000€4,000
(Max. €21,000 less disregard of €1,000
= €20,000 @ 20%)
2012€5,000
per student
€2,250
per student
€21,750€3,975
(Max. €21,000 less disregard of €1,125
= €19,875 @ 20%)
2013€5,000
per student
€2,500
per student
€22,500€3,950
(Max. €21,000 less disregard of €1,250
= €19,750 @ 20%)

Private Colleges (example 7)

Three students all full-time in private colleges
YearStudent feesStudent ContributionTotalTax Relief
2010€8,000
per student
(excluding registration fees)
Not applicable€24,000€3,000
(Max. €15,000 @ 20%)
2011€8,000
per student
€2,000
per student
€30,000€3,800
(Max. €21,000 less disregard of €2,000
= €19,000 @ 20%)
2012€8,000
per student
€2,250
per student
€30,750€3,750
(Max. €21,000 less disregard of €2,250
= €18,750 @ 20%)
2013€8,000
per student
€2,500
per student
€31,500€3,700
(Max. €21,000 less disregard of €2,500
= €18,500 @ 20%)

Private Colleges (example 8)

Three students all part-time in private colleges
YearStudent feesStudent ContributionTotalTax Relief
2010€5,000
per student
Not applicable€15,000€3,000
(€15,000 @ 20%)
2011€5,000
per student
€2,000
per student
€21,000€4,000
(€21,000 less disregard of €1,000
= €20,000 @ 20%)
2012€5,000
per student
€2,250
per student
€21,750€3,975
(Max. €21,000 less disregard of €1,125
= €19,875 @ 20%)
2013€5,000
per student
€2,500
per student
€22,500€3,950
(Max. €21,000 less disregard of €1,250
= €19,750 @ 20%)

Claim in respect of two students, one in a public college and the other in a private college

Example 9

Two students, one in a public college and one in a private college
YearStudent in private collegeStudent in public collegeTotalTax Relief
2010€6,000
Student fees
€1,500
Registration fee
€6,000
Registration
fee not allowable
€1,000
(Max. €5,000 @ 20%)
2011€7,000
Student fees
€2,000
Student Contribution
€9,000€1,400
(Max. €7,000 + €2,000
less disregard of €2,000
= €7,000 @ 20%)
2012€8,000
Student fees
€2,250
Student Contribution
€10,250€1,400
(Max. €7,000 + €2,250 less disregard of €2,250
= €7,000 @ 20%)
2013€8,500
Student fees
€2,500
Student Contribution
€11,000€1,400
(Max. €7,000 + €2,500
less disregard of €2,500
= €7,000 @ 20%)

Payment of Tuition Fees in instalments

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.

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 P60 form. Your income tax liability for the year will be reviewed and Revenue will make any refund that may be due to you.

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

To claim the relief, complete the relevant claim form and forward it to your Revenue office, the address of which can be found in the Contact Locator.

A separate claim form 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.

Note: You must notify your Revenue office 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.

Approved Colleges

Approved Colleges for the purpose of the tuition fees tax relief include:

  • Universities, Public and Private Colleges and Institutes of Higher Education in the State, which provides courses that are approved for higher education grants.
  • Colleges or Institutions of Higher Education in the State which operate in accordance with certain codes of standards laid down by the Minister for Education and Skills (these Colleges and Institutions must be approved by the Department of Education and Skills for the purposes of this tax relief).
  • Publicly funded or duly accredited Universities and Institutions of Higher Education in another EU Member State.
  • A College or Institution of Higher Education in any other EU Member State providing distance education in this State, which provide courses approved for the Higher Education Grants Scheme (this includes the Open University).
  • Publicly funded or duly accredited Universities and Institutions of Higher Education in non-EU Member States (N.B. applies to postgraduate courses only).
  • Colleges or Institutions (in the State and in any EU Member State) which provide distance education in the State and which operate in accordance with a certain code of standards laid down by the Minister for Education and Skills (these Colleges and Institutions must be approved by the Department of Education and Skills for the purposes of this relief).

Approved Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate courses must:

  • be carried out in an approved college
  • be of at least 2 academic years duration and
  • in the case of courses carried out in Colleges and Institutions that require approval by the Department of Education and Skills for the purposes of this tax relief, the course must be approved by that Department.

Approved Postgraduate Courses

Postgraduate courses must:

  • be carried out in an approved college
  • be of at least 1 academic year but no more than 4 academic years in duration; and
  • lead to a postgraduate award based on either a thesis or an examination.

Also, the person taking the course must already have a primary degree or equivalent qualification.

Lists of Approved Colleges and Courses

The lists for a current tax year are not available until after 1 July each year.

Time limit for Repayment Claims

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

Accessibility

If you are a person with a disability and require this leaflet in an alternative format the Revenue Access Officer can be contacted at accessofficer@revenue.ie.

Further Information

For further information phone your Revenue LoCall service, whose number is listed below.

RegionAreas CoveredTelephone No.
Border Midlands West RegionCavan, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Westmeath1890 777 425
Dublin RegionDublin (City and County)1890 333 425
East & South East RegionCarlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Meath, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow1890 444 425
South West RegionClare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick1890 222 425

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