Relief on Tuition fees

There is tax relief on certain tuition fees. That does not apply to registration fees examination fees and administration fees for third level courses.

Revenue publish lists of approved courses and educational institutions. The equivalent public institutions and universities in other EU states also qualify. Certain such institutions outside the EU are covered in respect of postgraduate studies.

The relief applies to undergraduate courses of at least two years postgraduate courses of at least one year.

The first €3000 of tuition fees for a full-time student and the first €1500 of tuition fees for a part-time student is disregarded. The credit is per student who qualifies per tax year, to a maximum of €7000 per taxpayer..

Approved Colleges

An approved college may be

  • a university, college or institution of higher education in the State;
  • approved institutions in another EU state, which provide distance education;
  • institutions of higher education and universities in another EU state, accredited in the other state or maintained or assisted by public funds in that state
  • institutions of higher education and universities in a country other than an EU state ,accredited in the other state or maintained or maintained of assisted by public funds inn that state.

Qualifying Fees

Qualifying fees are those for an approved course of tuition connected with that course.  The course must be approved by the Minister for Education with the consent of the Minister of Finance.  The payment of fees must not be paid or recoverable from another source.

The approved course must be a full or part time undergraduate course of study, of at least two years academic duration approved by the Department of Education. The Department   is to   have regard to codes of standards in relation to quality. Alternatively, it may be a postgraduate course of study in an approved college for between one and four academic years, which  leads to a postgraduate award on the basis of thesis or an examination.

The Minister may grant and withdraw approval of courses in institutions. Notice must be given to the institution and published. An application for relief must be supported by details of the college, the course and fees   payable

Approved Training Courses

There is a tax credit for fees paid for approved training courses.  These are course other than the postgraduates courses, which are  provided by an approved course provider.  The course must

  • relate to certain aspects of information technology or foreign languages approved by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation;
  • be of less than two years duration;
  • result in a certificate of competence and
  • having regard to codes approved by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance, and [Solas] in relation to standards..

Courses must be approved, having regard to standards laid down by and agreed between Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Employment  with the Minister for Finance.

Reforms / Restrictions

Finance Act 2011 provided that the first €2,000 of a  claim for relief on fees for third-level education is disregarded for any  student in respect of which the relief is granted, is full time.  In the case of part-time students the disregard is €1,000.The tax relief is at 20% the amount of payment.

Finance Act 2012 made the  third level fee credit of up to 20 percent of the qualifying fees  made less generous. FA 2012 increased  the amount to be disregarded to €2,250 for full time courses and €1,125  for part-time courses.

FA 2 2013 provides that  were relief for payment of third level fees has been granted, the individual must notify Revenue and repay within 21 days of receipt of any refund from the institution.

Finance Act 2013 increased the  amounts disregarded on payment of qualifying fees to approved  third level courses has been increased.  The level to be disregarded was increased between the years 2013 and 2015, €2,500, €2,750  to €3,000 in 2015.  The relevant rates for part-time courses are at half this level.


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