by JENNY MACKLIN
This morning, the Treasurer and I walked to school. We hadn’t done it for a while, not since our own kids were little.
Before the bell rang, we had coffee and a chat with local parents Elizabeth and Anthony about what they do to make sure their kids are at school and ready to learn.
I think we could have spent the whole day just running through the checklist.
I know exactly what it’s like. My kids are grown up now, but I remember very clearly all the items we had to buy before they started school. Books, pens, pencils, rulers and folders – the list goes on and on. And it gets harder as they get older, and start needing things like computers that seem to cost more than a small car.
That’s before you even get to the uniform shop. And there are the costs that pop up throughout the year, like excursions, music lessons and school camps. Not to mention new school shoes.
I know that the Education Tax Refund has helped a lot of families with these sorts of expenses. Each year at tax time, families could get a bit back for what they’ve spent on school costs.
But I also know that the Education Tax Refund wasn’t helping some families as much as it could have. In fact, about one million families weren’t claiming their money back, or weren’t claiming their full entitlement.
For a lot of people, it was just too expensive to pay up front for all the school costs, and then wait months to get some money back.
The other headache for parents was remembering to keep track of all those receipts so that you can claim at tax time. I know parents have enough going on without having to worry about that.