Tax Credit on University Fees

Sadim

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I have my daughter starting in UCD this week. She gave me two bills yesterday, one for Fees of €1,085 and one for onsite student accommodation €4,315. The fees element represents an instalment of 1/3rd, I think (I hope!) the accommodation is 50% of the total for the year. Ok, I had some sense that the next 4 years were going to be expensive but it was when I looked at the tax credits available that I got a real shock. Apparently from what I can see, there is a Disregard Amount of €3,000 so, the only tax credit is for (1,085 * 3 - 3000) * 20% = €51. So, out of an assumed total of €11,885 (1085 * 3 + 4315 * 2) I only get a tax credit of €51! Am I right? Secondly, does that accommodation piece qualify for rent relief?

On a broader point, Ireland Inc always boasts its well educated young workforce but is utterly tokenistic how it supports or encourages it as a policy objective. Then that is compounded by the fact that government has "spam in the game" here in that a) an educated young workforce is a serious attraction to FDI b) that educated workforce will earn more over their careers, and consequently, generate more GDP and pay far more tax. Given how strategic it is for government to support education it does not look like it is prepared to support the sector other than build colleges (a large part funded by private endowments too) and pay university staff!
 

MugsGame

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Pay university administrators that is! Lecturers are increasingly adjuncts on zero hour contracts paid per contact hour - which often results in working for less than minimum wage.
 

Sadim

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Pay university administrators that is! Lecturers are increasingly adjuncts on zero hour contracts paid per contact hour - which often results in working for less than minimum wage.
I don't know the dynamics Mugs. I may be a bit centre-right politically but I utterly abhor zero-hours contracts. I think they are a gross abuse
 

MugsGame

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I won't derail your thread on tax relief further - those interested can read up on academic precarity, increasingly a cornerstone of the 3rd level education business in Ireland and abroad.
 

Sadim

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I won't derail your thread on tax relief further - those interested can read up on academic precarity, increasingly a cornerstone of the 3rd level education business in Ireland and abroad.
That is an extraordinary indictment of a type of bonded slavery, a feudal system that should have disappeared with the 16th century. I genuinely was not aware of that
 

MugsGame

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Bear this in mind in 5 years time should your daughter be considering pursuing a PhD in the hopes of working as an academic. To be discouraged unless it's a STEM discipline with relevance to industry, particularly as a woman.
 

relax carry on

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I have my daughter starting in UCD this week. She gave me two bills yesterday, one for Fees of €1,085 and one for onsite student accommodation €4,315. The fees element represents an instalment of 1/3rd, I think (I hope!) the accommodation is 50% of the total for the year. Ok, I had some sense that the next 4 years were going to be expensive but it was when I looked at the tax credits available that I got a real shock. Apparently from what I can see, there is a Disregard Amount of €3,000 so, the only tax credit is for (1,085 * 3 - 3000) * 20% = €51. So, out of an assumed total of €11,885 (1085 * 3 + 4315 * 2) I only get a tax credit of €51! Am I right? Secondly, does that accommodation piece qualify for rent relief?
Assuming all the €3,255 fees paid are qualifying then you disregard €3,000 leaving you with €225 to obtain tax relief on. There no tax relief available for the accommodation.

More examples and info here.

 

fidelcastro

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I have my daughter starting in UCD this week. She gave me two bills yesterday, one for Fees of €1,085 and one for onsite student accommodation €4,315. The fees element represents an instalment of 1/3rd, I think (I hope!) the accommodation is 50% of the total for the year. Ok, I had some sense that the next 4 years were going to be expensive but it was when I looked at the tax credits available that I got a real shock. Apparently from what I can see, there is a Disregard Amount of €3,000 so, the only tax credit is for (1,085 * 3 - 3000) * 20% = €51. So, out of an assumed total of €11,885 (1085 * 3 + 4315 * 2) I only get a tax credit of €51! Am I right? Secondly, does that accommodation piece qualify for rent relief?

On a broader point, Ireland Inc always boasts its well educated young workforce but is utterly tokenistic how it supports or encourages it as a policy objective. Then that is compounded by the fact that government has "spam in the game" here in that a) an educated young workforce is a serious attraction to FDI b) that educated workforce will earn more over their careers, and consequently, generate more GDP and pay far more tax. Given how strategic it is for government to support education it does not look like it is prepared to support the sector other than build colleges (a large part funded by private endowments too) and pay university staff!
Education in Ireland isn't completely free even in Primary school.
 

Sadim

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Just wondering why she is living on site given most lectures/teaching will be carried out online?
Well, I think it would be even more difficult to focus on coursework if you were working constantly from an upstairs bedroom down the country. True, its a big cost just to create an educational environment but they have been denied enough at this stage so, part of the university story is to adapt to living away from home and fending for yourself.
 

Sadim

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Assuming all the €3,255 fees paid are qualifying then you disregard €3,000 leaving you with €225 to obtain tax relief on. There no tax relief available for the accommodation.

More examples and info here.

Thanks Relax, thats the bit that shocked me when I went to explore it! I thought there was a tax credit on the fees element at least but was totally unaware of the €3,000 disregard amount. Why don't they do the honest thing and say there is no tax credit on third level fees? Remember, Ireland Inc has spam in the game. The mass of third level educated people is a critical strategic advantage when trying to attract FDI or even promote our own indigenous sectors. Yet, the government won't support that investment other than build fancy colleges!
 

Allpartied

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Of course accommodation fees should , at the very least, qualify for tax relief. The students are expected to pay market rates ( your rate seems very cheap compared to my experience) and engage in a full time course. The 3k fee, which should not be anymore than that, is a registration fee to pay for exams, student support services, library facilities, other on campus assistance,etc. It's a disgrace it is being charged this year, when the campus is closed.
 

Sadim

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Of course accommodation fees should , at the very least, qualify for tax relief. The students are expected to pay market rates ( your rate seems very cheap compared to my experience) and engage in a full time course. The 3k fee, which should not be anymore than that, is a registration fee to pay for exams, student support services, library facilities, other on campus assistance,etc. It's a disgrace it is being charged this year, when the campus is closed.
€8,330 (4315 x 2) is cheap! I think its extortionate.

Still, in the same way there is/was a tax credit for rent payments I would have thought the government would extend that to student rents? And the €3k fee, I still think government has a vested interest in producing an educated workforce who will more than likely earn higher salaries, will not be social welfare dependents, will provide an attraction to inward FDI, will pay higher taxes all their lives and will rarely if ever be dependent on the state for benefits. It strikes me the balance of who pays and who wins is still totally skewed.
 

Allpartied

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€8,330 (4315 x 2) is cheap! I think its extortionate.

Still, in the same way there is/was a tax credit for rent payments I would have thought the government would extend that to student rents? And the €3k fee, I still think government has a vested interest in producing an educated workforce who will more than likely earn higher salaries, will not be social welfare dependents, will provide an attraction to inward FDI, will pay higher taxes all their lives and will rarely if ever be dependent on the state for benefits. It strikes me the balance of who pays and who wins is still totally skewed.
Sorry Sadim, misread your post. I though it was 4315 for the whole year.

8330 is about average for a single room, on campus, in Dublin. For full time students that is ridiculous. Even for those who get the SUSI grant it leaves 5k plus for accomodation. That's before you pay for living expenses, travel, books, laptop , etc.

I went to college in the late 80's and paid 10 pounds a month for a room, on campus, in central London. No bills. Plus I got a grant and free food in the hospital canteen. Things are supposed to get better, but they are clearly much, much worse.
 

Sadim

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Sorry Sadim, misread your post. I though it was 4315 for the whole year.

8330 is about average for a single room, on campus, in Dublin. For full time students that is ridiculous. Even for those who get the SUSI grant it leaves 5k plus for accomodation. That's before you pay for living expenses, travel, books, laptop , etc.

I went to college in the late 80's and paid 10 pounds a month for a room, on campus, in central London. No bills. Plus I got a grant and free food in the hospital canteen. Things are supposed to get better, but they are clearly much, much worse.
I paid £9 per week for a post grad year in the mid 80s... but slept on the floor of a mouse infected rundown kip in Rathmines. I used to get a bed at the weekend when two of the lads went home! It was rough living but I hadn't a bob to my name and my parents had less (I'm the eldest of 6). SUSI is fine but I won't get a grant and my main gripe was, I won't get any tax credits either! With all teh talk about government valuing education, they do.... but they want you to pay for it lock, stock and two smoking barrels.

Still, I wouldn't like my lassie to spend a miserable poor existence like I had that year in Dublin.
 

Allpartied

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I paid £9 per week for a post grad year in the mid 80s... but slept on the floor of a mouse infected rundown kip in Rathmines. I used to get a bed at the weekend when two of the lads went home! It was rough living but I hadn't a bob to my name and my parents had less (I'm the eldest of 6). SUSI is fine but I won't get a grant and my main gripe was, I won't get any tax credits either! With all teh talk about government valuing education, they do.... but they want you to pay for it lock, stock and two smoking barrels.

Still, I wouldn't like my lassie to spend a miserable poor existence like I had that year in Dublin.
I'm not averse to a govt run student loan scheme. Similar to the UK, where the grad pays back the money once their salary reaches a certain point.
This is, effectively, a graduate tax and seems quite fair. Of course, in the UK they have gone way over the top with charging 10k a year for nearly every course. But for living expenses and other fees a low interest, salary dependent loan, repaid via the graduate's revenue bill, would be very beneficial.
Loads of people are taking out loans to fund third level, but these are bank loans which need to be paid off straight away, which just creates more problems.

Coupled with some basic, clean, secure subsidised accommodation, it would mean govt was living up to its promise to support education.
 

Sadim

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I'm not averse to a govt run student loan scheme. Similar to the UK, where the grad pays back the money once their salary reaches a certain point.
This is, effectively, a graduate tax and seems quite fair. Of course, in the UK they have gone way over the top with charging 10k a year for nearly every course. But for living expenses and other fees a low interest, salary dependent loan, repaid via the graduate's revenue bill, would be very beneficial.
Loads of people are taking out loans to fund third level, but these are bank loans which need to be paid off straight away, which just creates more problems.

Coupled with some basic, clean, secure subsidised accommodation, it would mean govt was living up to its promise to support education.
In principle the UK system is a good one but then I hear of horror stories of kids coming out with £60k student loans and this is before they start a mortgage, buy a car etc. I think that is simply dumping on the next generation. Remember, their salaries and taxes will pay for our state retirement pensions.

I do believe however that there could be an actuarially calculated repayment system much like PRSI etc that would allow the government to recoup the costs over a full working life with an option for early repayments etc to clear the debt. Again, this whole system does not acknowledge the wider society benefit of a more educated workforce. Governments gain too from having more educated workforce so, they have spam in the game. On that basis the student should only have to pay X% of the total third level cost.
 

Allpartied

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In principle the UK system is a good one but then I hear of horror stories of kids coming out with £60k student loans and this is before they start a mortgage, buy a car etc. I think that is simply dumping on the next generation. Remember, their salaries and taxes will pay for our state retirement pensions.

I do believe however that there could be an actuarially calculated repayment system much like PRSI etc that would allow the government to recoup the costs over a full working life with an option for early repayments etc to clear the debt. Again, this whole system does not acknowledge the wider society benefit of a more educated workforce. Governments gain too from having more educated workforce so, they have spam in the game. On that basis the student should only have to pay X% of the total third level cost.
I would advocate free fees for third level.

But support loans to help with living expenses. At the moment, as we know, the student is totally dependent on parental support.

It's all a bit of a farce and the govt knows it. It clearly favours well paid, cash/asset rich parents, against those of us who are just above the SUSI threshold, but still paying off celtic tiger mortgages, and taxed through PAYE.
 

Sadim

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I would advocate free fees for third level.

But support loans to help with living expenses. At the moment, as we know, the student is totally dependent on parental support.

It's all a bit of a farce and the govt knows it. It clearly favours well paid, cash/asset rich parents, against those of us who are just above the SUSI threshold, but still paying off celtic tiger mortgages, and taxed through PAYE.
Touche Rodney! The squeezed middle is always the person to take the pain.

I still see the student loan issue as part of a social contract so, repayments could be made via a different and higher class of PRSI, again over a full working life. A system like this underwritten by government would at least be an acknowledgement that government has a strategic vested interest in the ambitions of students too.
 
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