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The Agony of trying to claim for tuition fee reliefs

  • 03-02-2010 6:22pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,954 ✭✭✭ shoegirl

    Hi all:
    Is anybody else experiencing grief with the Irish Revenue Commissioners when trying to apply for refunds for course fees paid by installment (i.e. OU)?

    I had a call earlier from Ennis and basically they are not only looking for the letter from the OU they used to request, they want a full statement (which in my case is three years of statements) showing when the fees were actually paid.

    Now what bothers me is that they indicated to me that they can't allocate fees paid across tax years due to the typical acdemic year falling across two tax years but deduct fees paid on a per tax year basis - which entirely contradicts what they state on their website which is:

    "Where fees are paid in instalments and any such amounts are paid in a tax year following the year in which the academic year of the approved course commenced, then the relief for fees relating to that academic year may be granted either -
    in the tax year during which the academic year of the approved course commenced;
    the tax year in which the instalment was paid.
    However, relief will only be granted in respect of amounts actually paid and subject to the maximum relief available in that academic year."

    So in other words, the information for form 31 suggests that you should be able to start a course in Sept and pay for it between then and June and then allocate the tax refund to the previous Sept, which would then allow you to claim for the next course starting in September. The fact that you paid by installments shouldn't cause them to break up the fee in two and only allocate it to one year or the other (which if you allocated it to the Jan-June payments would mean you couldn't claim for the next course in that tax year either). To me this seems like an incorrect intrepreation - or has it actually changed and the website not been updated?

    Anybody else experienced this and how did you get around it? What a nightmare as OUSBA changed their system last year and had some difficulty in going back 3 years (I'm claiming for courses which ended in 2008 and 2009 - one of which started in 2008 and finished in 2009, which I think is causing the problem).