Given the current state of the job market and length of the dole queues, remaining in education is an attractive refuge for many students, both Irish and foreign. On top of this, many people who have been the victims of job cuts and redundancies are using the current downturn as an opportunity to return to education and up-skill. With this is mind, one of the most relevant tax reliefs available at the moment is the tax relief for tuition fees.
Tax relief at the standard rate (20%) is available in respect of tuition fees paid for both approved undergraduate and postgraduate courses in approved colleges. The maximum limit for qualifying fees is €5,000 and so individuals may be entitled to a tax credit as high as €1,000 (€5,000 @ 20%). Tax relief is also available for tuition fees paid for certain training courses in the areas of information technology and foreign languages. In these cases, relief applies to fees ranging from €315 to €1,270 per course.
Since the 2007 tax year there doesn't need to be a defined relationship between the person paying the tuition fees and the person undertaking the course and so this tax relief can be claimed by anyone that incurs the cost of qualifying tuition fees. The Revenue Commissioners publishes a list of courses that qualify for this valuable relief each year.
It's important to note, however, that registration fees, administration fees and examination fees, although they may be high, unfortunately do not qualify for tax relief.