Did you complete an Education, Nursing or Early Childhood Degree after 30th June 2009?
If so and you are currently employed in a related occupation, then you may be eligible for a HECS/HELP benefit. This benefit will either reduce your HECS contribution for the year, or if you have already lodged your return, will be refunded to you as a cash refund from the ATO.
The maximum reduction you could be eligible for is determined as follows:
|Income year||Early childhood education teachers||Education and nursing (including midwifery) graduates|
The benefit amount you receive each year depends on the number of weeks you are employed in an eligible position throughout the year you are claiming.
The benefit is also limited to the amount of your compulsory HECS repayments each income year.
If you have already made your compulsory repayment as part of your tax return lodgement, the ATO will transfer your HECS-HELP benefit to your nominated bank account.
There are time limits to adhere to:
The rules with claiming the HECS-HELP benefit state that you have two years from the end of the financial year to submit your claim. This means that for the:
2014-15 tax year – you’ll need to submit your claim before 30 June 2017
2015-16 tax year – you’ll need to submit your claim before 30 June 2018
2016-17 tax year – you’ll need to submit your claim before 30 June 2019
ATO won’t accept late applications and if you’re eligible for the HECS-HELP benefit, you can only claim a total of 260 weeks (or full years of the benefit). This 260 week (5 year) limit is also subject to meeting the other eligibility requirements.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office on 8768-8788 if you require further information.
Article Written by Paul Wineberg
Paul is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants
and a Director of South East Accounting.