Family First Reminds Parents to Claim Refund on School Fees

Family First is reminding and possibly informing parents that when they complete their IRD Tax Returns for the financial year ended 31 March 2007, they are entitled to claim back part of their school fees.

“Many parents aren’t aware that school donations qualify for the Donations Rebate,” says National Director Bob McCoskrie. “This rebate means that parents can get a refund of up to a third of the school donation.”

“While there’s no such thing as a free education, this refund will be a welcome boost to families who are struggling financially with all the fees, uniform costs, subscriptions and sports fees which inundate families during the year.”

The IRD rules state that the following payments qualify for the Donation Rebate
Donation payments to state schools (including integrated schools), schools approved as charities for tax purposes, school boards of trustees or parent-teacher associations. These payments must be donations, not just a payment of school fees.
state-funded schools for payment of fees, as long as these go to the school’s general fund.

Payments that don’t qualify are
– payments for classes where there is a take-home component, such as woodwork
– where attendance or participation of the activity is voluntary
– transport to or from a school activity, such as a camp or food at the camp
– tertiary or tuition fees.

Mr McCoskrie says that although schools and parents can be confused over the terminology of ‘fees’ and ‘donations’, parents should claim for any general purpose school payments they have made, irrespective of how the school labels them.

He says the IRD should put out guidelines into each school so that parents are aware of this Rebate, and are clear as to which payments qualify and which don’t.

Parents will need a Rebate Claim Form (IR 526) which will either be sent to them or can be obtained from www.ird.govt.nz or by phoning 0800 257 773 (need IRD number).

ENDS