Self-education expenses


    • Evidence to support expense
    • Substantiation

Evidence to support expense

If you incurred work-related self-education expenses and wish to claim these as a deduction, the nexus has to be established. If your tax return is selected for a review or an audit, you may be asked to provide the following records to the ATO:

    • explanation of and/or details of the following:
      • your employment duties at the time the course was being undertaken
      • the aims and/or specific purpose of the course and how it was directly relevant to your current duties, or likely to lead to an increase in your salary, wages and allowances
      • a letter from your employer(s), including contact name and telephone number, to confirm:
      • that you were required – or actively supported by the employer(s) – to undertake a course as part of carrying out your employment duties
      • that the course undertaken was directly relevant to your current duties at that time or likely to lead to an increase in your current salary, wages and allowances
      • details of any reportable fringe benefits, allowances or reimbursements to compensate you for expenses incurred


To substantiate the deduction you may be asked to keep the following records:

    • written evidence showing full details of the course undertaken such as an academic record, including:
      • the name of the course
      • the institution at which it was undertaken
      • details of the subject studied and course overview
      • if the study was on a full-time or part-time basis
      • the period the course was undertaken during the year


    • list of all items included in your claim for self-education expenses and receipts or other documentary evidence for each item, for example, course fees, books and stationery, travel, computer expenses, depreciation of and repairs to items of equipment
    • other evidence, where necessary, about how specific expenses relate to the course being undertaken and expenses claimed
    • other evidence, where necessary, to support expenses incurred, such as car, travel, or depreciation expenses. The nature of the evidence required may vary depending on the specific expense – for example a diary, course outlines or timetables may support car expenses using the cents per kilometre method, whereas a diary and receipts are required to support apportioning the business and private component of expenses for depreciating assets

In some instances you may have to reduce your allowable self-education expenses by up to $250.