See how easily things can go wrong when we unknowingly compare Apples, Oranges and the ATO.
Greg is builder who has been thinking about making a career change. He’s physically tired, his back has started giving him trouble and he’s spent way too many years out in the sun. Like a lot of blokes, Greg spends an hour or so at the pub on a Friday night and has made friends with a real estate agent named Richard. Richard is making quite a nice income for himself and Greg is inspired by the stories he tells. Richard did a course last year and was able to claim back some of his self-education expenses in his tax return. On this recommendation Greg decides to enroll in the same course. He can study at night and keep earning his regular income during the day. Richard was able to claim his study expenses, so obviously Greg would be able to claim his too, right?
Richard was only able to claim his self-education expenses because he completed a course in the field that he currently works in. Right now Greg works in the construction industry and whilst he intends to change this in the future, the ATO will not allow the deduction in his current circumstances.
It is human nature to think that others are getting a bigger slice of the pie. Often people are so inspired by keeping up with the proverbial Jones’s they forget that different rules almost always apply to different situations.
Always speak to your advisor before making any significant financial investments, no matter what the area. Work-related Self-education expenses are indeed an investment in your future so a quick call is all that’s required to make sure you’re doing things in the right order and working the rules in your best interest. Whilst well meaning, your mate at the pub, or the guy you met at the BBQ last weekend can’t possibly know your personal situation and what may seem identical at first glance may in fact be poles apart. Don’t get caught out!
For more information on claiming Self-education Expenses Click Here