Revenue Note for Guidance
This section provides relief for the payment of fees for third level education courses. The relief is granted at the standard rate of tax when an individual pays qualifying fees for an approved course whether on his or her own behalf or on behalf of another individual. Fees which are met from any other source e.g. grant or scholarship, are not allowable. Examination fees, administration fees, registration fees do not qualify for relief.
“academic year”, in relation to an approved course, means a year of study commencing on a date not earlier than 1 August in a year of assessment;
“appropriate percentage”, in relation to a year of assessment, means a percentage equal to the standard rate of tax for that year;
“approved college”, in relation to a year of assessment, means —
“approved course” is —
“the Minister” means the Minister for Education and Science;
“qualifying fees” means the amount of fees chargeable in respect of tuition for an approved course which is approved by the Minister for Education and Science, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, for the purposes of this section. For the tax year 2011 and subsequent tax years, the maximum annual relief for tuition fees (including the Student Contribution) is €7,000 @ 20% (standard rate) per individual per course.
Where an individual pays fees (on his or her own behalf or on behalf of another individual) in respect of any of the qualifying courses in a qualifying college, the tax to be charged on the individual, other than under section 16(2), is to be reduced by the lesser of—
Except where separate assessment or single treatment applies, relief is given to an individual in respect of fees paid by a spouse or civil partner.
No tax relief will be given in respect of any fees where any sum in relation to the fees is received from any source whatever by means of grant, scholarship etc or in respect of any fees that is refunded or partly refunded by the college.
Where a claim is made by an individual and the qualifying fees, or part of the qualifying fees, relate to a full-time course or full-time courses –
For the year of assessment 2013 the first €2,500 is disregarded.
For the year of assessment 2014 the first €2,750 is disregarded.
For the year of assessment 2015 and each subsequent year of assessment the first €3,000 is disregarded
Where a claim is made by an individual and all the qualifying fees relate to a part-time course or part-time courses –
For the year of assessment 2013 the first €1,250 is disregarded.
For the year of assessment 2014 the first €1,375 is disregarded.
For the year of assessment 2015 and each subsequent year of assessment the first €1,500 is disregarded
Note: The disregard is based on a claim, the subject of which may be one or more students. The general effect of this approach to granting relief is that all claimants will get full tax relief on the Student Contribution for 2nd and subsequent students in their claim.
The Minister for Education and Science may withdraw approval in respect of any course or college where the course or college no longer meet the appropriate standard as laid down by the Minister. Notice of such withdrawal is to be published in Iris Oifigiúil.
An individual claiming the tax relief must provide a statement from the approved college setting out specified information in respect of both the course and college when making the claim for the tax relief.
The Revenue Commissioners may consult with the Minister for Education and Science on a question relating to any approved course or approved college.
The Minister for Education and Science must provide the Revenue Commissioners with details of all courses and colleges approved for the purpose of this section by 1 July each year together with details of the amount of fees qualifying in respect of each course for the academic year involved.
Where relief is given under the section in respect of a payment of fees, relief will not be given under any other provision of the Income Tax Acts in respect of that payment.
Where any fees that are the subject of a claim are refunded or partly refunded by a college, the individual by whom the claim was made must notify Revenue within 21 days that he or she has received a refund. A person who fails to notify Revenue that a refund was received from the college is liable to a penalty €3,000.
Relevant Date: Finance Act 2021