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piggy 380x318 7 things you should know that can save you 1000s of dollars

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Those of you with children at school might already know this. Super diligent and receipt-keeping parents will have already claimed the Education Tax Refund.

It’s been around a few years, so you’ll know that it means you can claim the cost of educating primary and secondary school children on your tax.

However, there are some new things you may not know.

This year, you can claim school uniforms for the first time as part of the Education Tax Refund.

Until July last year you could claim other expenses but not school uniforms. This means a lot more of your Back to School expenses are -for the first time – tax deductible.

However, it’s important to know that the Education Tax Refund is available only to anyone who receives Family Tax Benefit Part A.

Despite its rather natty name (umm, not), Family Tax Benefit Part A is a government payment which helps with the cost of raising children. If you receive it you probably know about it. If not, and your household income is below about $150,000, it’s worth finding out more about it here.

For starters, here’s a list of seven things we think you should know.

1. The Education Tax Refund means you can claim costs like computers (and maintenance), USB sticks,  textbooks and stationery.

2. You can even claim your home internet connection, but not if you are also claiming it as a work expense.

3. School fees, transport costs, sporting equipment and musical instruments cannot be claimed but trade tools can.

4. Carers, legal guardians and independent students can claim it too.

5. You need to have receipts for any expenses claimed.

6. You can get up to 50% of your costs back up to a maximum of $794 for each primary school child or $1,588 for each secondary school child – which means you can get back $397 and $794 respectively.

7. If you don’t need to do a tax return, there is a form you can fill out to claim.

You can get more details (and a lot more words!) on the official government website here.

So there you have it. Seven things that could save you thousands of dollars.

Kirsten Andrews is a working mum to a three year old.  She works in the not for profit sector and blogs here.

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