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

Introduction

This leaflet outlines the tax relief 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 2013/2014 is €7,000, per individual per course.

The amount of relief available for the current year is provided in: Leaflet IT1 - Tax Credits, Reliefs and Rates.

Maximum limit for academic year, per course, per student
Academic year Maximum Limit (cap)
2009 €5,000
2010 €5,000
2011 €7,000
2012 €7,000
2013 €7,000
2014 €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
Year Full 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.

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The following examples outline how the relief works:

 

Claim in respect of one student in third level education

Example 1

Full time student in a Public College
Year Student Registration fees Student Contribution Tax Relief
2010 €1,500
Registration fees
Not applicable Nil
Student registration fees not allowable
2011 Not applicable €2,000 Nil
(€2,000 less disregard of €2,000)
2012 Not applicable €2,250 Nil
€2,250 less disregard of €2,250)
2013 Not applicable €2,500 Nil
(€2,500 less disregard of €2,500)

Example 2

Part-time student in a public college
Year Student fees Student Contribution Total Tax Relief
2010 €5,000 Not 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%)

Example 3

Full-time student in a private college
Year Student fees Student Contribution Total Tax Relief
2010 €8,000 Not 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%)

Example 4

Part-time student in a private college
Year Student fees Student Contribution Total Tax Relief
2010 €5,000 Not 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%)

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Claim in respect of three students in third level education

Example 5

All full-time students in public colleges
Year Student Registration fees Student Contribution Total Tax Relief
2010 €1,500
Registration fees per student
Not applicable Nil Nil
Student registration fees not allowable
2011 Not applicable €2,000 per student €6,000 €800
(€6,000 less disregard of €2,000
= €4,000 @ 20%)
2012 Not applicable €2,250 per student €6,750 €900
(€6,750 less disregard of €2,250
= €4,500 @ 20%)
2013 Not applicable €2,500 per student €7,500 €1,000
(€7,500 less disregard of €2,500
= €5,000 @ 20%)

Example 6

All part-time students in public colleges
Year Student fees Student Contribution Total Tax 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%)

Example 7

All full-time students in private colleges
Year Student fees Student Contribution Total Tax 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%)

Example 8

All part-time students in private colleges
Year Student fees Student Contribution Total Tax 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%)

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

Example 9

Full time student
Year Student in private college Student in public college Total Tax 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%)

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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.

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How is the relief claimed?

The relief can be claimed either by submitting an annual tax return at the end of the tax year to review your tax liability, or a claim can be made during a tax year for that year once the fees have been paid. In this case an amended Tax Credit Certificate showing the relief due will be issued to you.

To apply complete the pdfapplication form (PDF, 198KB). (Download and complete on screen).

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

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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 provides 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 provides 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

Annual lists of approved Third Level colleges in the State and approved undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the State.

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

4-year time limit

A claim for tax relief must be made within 4 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

This leaflet is for general information only. For further information phone your Revenue LoCall service, whose number is listed below. To obtain the address of your Revenue office enter your PPS number into our Contact Locator.

Region Areas Covered Telephone No.
Border Midlands West Region Cavan, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Westmeath 1890 777 425
Dublin Region Dublin (City and County) 1890 333 425
East & South East Region Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Meath, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow 1890 444 425
South West Region Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick 1890 222 425

Please note that the rates charged for the use of 1890 (LoCall) numbers may vary among different service providers.

If you are calling from outside the Republic of Ireland, phone +353 (1) 702 3011.

This leaflet is intended to describe the subject in general terms. As such, it does not attempt to cover every issue which may arise in relation to the subject. It does not purport to be a legal interpretation of the statutory provisions and consequently, responsibility cannot be accepted for any liability incurred or loss suffered as a result of relying on any matter published herein.

Revenue Commissioners

February 2014


pdfPDF Version of IT31 - Tax Relief for Tuition Fees in respect of Third Level education (PDF, 942KB)

(Adobe Acrobat Reader PDFExternal link)

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