Tertiary Education Expenses

Tags: Tertiary Education, University

The Finance Act 2007 (Act 17/2007) allows a deduction for Tertiary Education Expenses of up to sixty thousand dollars ($60,000) per household. With effect from January 1st 2019 this deduction has been increased to seventy-two thousand dollars ($72,000). The deductions is applicable to studies at an educational institute approved by the the Ministry with responsiblity for Tertiary Education OTHER THAN:

  1. at an institution in Trinidad and Tobago; or
  2. at a regional public institution supported susbstantially by public funds, whether or not situated in Trinidad and Tobago

Income Tax Act Section 10 (9)

N.B. Claims for Tertiary Education Expenses in respect of St. Georges University in Grenada are allowed

What Studies Qualify

in order to qualify for this allowance, the course of studies must:-

  • be for at least for the duration of one academic year or two semesters; and
  • be at a level beyond that of Advanced Level; and
  • lead to the award of a certificate, diploma or degree.

Reasonable Expenses

Reasonable expenses to be allowed would include:-

  • Costs of tuition, examinations, foreign and local travel, books and other purchases required by the institution for the course of study, board and lodge and rental of accommodation away from home solely for the purpose of attending classes.
  • Where students are required to pay a student reistration and/or student membership/subscription fee, these would also be allowed.
  • Interst paid during a year of income on a loan used to finance Tertiary Education would be allowed as reasonable expenses, provided that the respective individual is still receiving the Tertiary Education for which the loan was granted.

Who is Entitled to the Claim

A claim for Tertiary Education can be made by the following persons.

  • A single person on behalf of himself/herself and/or children.
  • A married person on behalf of imself/herself and/or spouse and/or children
  • A person and their spouse may claim actual resonable expenses incurred, limited to an aggregate of $60,000 ($72,000 from 2019 year of income) in such proportion as they shall both determine.

Income Tax Act Section 10 (10)

a child is defined as "a step-child, an illegitimate child or an adopted child"

Income Tax Act Section 2

When can the Claim be Made

The deduction in respect to Tertiary Education expenses can be claimed on a Tax Declaration Form 1 (TD1) [but only in respect to actual payments made to date], or when filing an Income Tax Return.

Documents Required

  • Evidence of acceptance to study at the institution.
  • A statement of the expenses claimed must be attached to the return.
  • Documentary evidence to support the expenses claimed together with receipts, bank drafts, cancelled cheques or other evidence of remittance of funds. Where rental accommodation expenses are incurred, receipts are necessary to support claims.
  • Ticket stub showing actual airfare in the case of foreign travel (limited to one return airfare per year).
  • Letters from the examination bodies attesting to payments for examination fees must be submitted in cases where no claims are made for tuition fees.
  • Letters from person and spouse attesting to the proportion of Tertiary Education Expenses claimed along with copies of identification where they opt to apportion the expenses.

Note: The individual pursuing tertiary education MUST be:-

  1. either physically outside of Trinidad and tobago; or
  2. if physically in Trinidad and Tobago, ONLY fees paid to a recognised institution will be allowed.

No local expenditure is allowed as a claim wher persons are physically in T&T