Course Fees Relief is given to encourage individuals to continuously upgrade their skills and enhance employability.

Courses that qualify for relief

You may claim Course Fees Relief for the Year of Assessment (YA) 2021 if you have attended:

  • Any course of study, seminar or conference in 2020 for the purpose of gaining an approved academic, professional or vocational* qualification

* Approved vocational qualification

To qualify for Course Fees Relief:

  1. the acquired skill or knowledge should be one that can be applied in a vocation or a specific area in an industry; and
  2. the course, seminar or conference provider is a Singapore registered entity with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

You may use the online tool on ACRA website or check with the programme provider to find out if the course provider is a Singapore registered entity.

  • Any course, seminar or conference in 2020 that is relevant to your current employment, trade, business, profession or vocation
  • Any course, seminar or conference between 1 Jan 2018 to 31 Dec 2019 that is relevant to your new employment, trade, business, profession or vocation in 2020

Courses not eligible for relief

  • Courses, seminars and conferences for recreation, leisure or hobby (e.g. photography, language and sports courses)
  • Courses, seminars and conferences for general knowledge or skills (e.g. courses on Internet surfing, social media skills, basic website building, Microsoft Office)
  • Polytechnic/University courses if graduates have never exercised any employment or carried on any trade, profession or vocation previously. Vacation jobs or internships are not considered employment for the purpose of this relief.

Amount of relief

You may claim the actual course fees incurred by yourself, up to a maximum of $5,500 each year regardless of the number of courses, seminars or conferences you have attended.

Any amount paid or reimbursed by your employer or any other organisations (including the use of SkillsFuture Credit) cannot be claimed as Course Fees Relief.

You may claim the following types of fees:

  1. Aptitude test fees (for computer courses);
  2. Examination fees;
  3. Registration/enrolment fees;
  4. Tuition fees.

Example 1: Course fees partially paid by employer

You are working as a photographer and have attended a photo-editing workshop that cost $1,500. Your employer subsidised 75% of the cost of your workshop.

The amount of Course Fees Relief you may claim is:

25% x $1,500 = $375

Courses that span a few years

For courses that span a few years and where full payment has been made upfront, you may divide the course fees paid equally over the years.

Example 2: 3-year course where full payment has been made upfront

You paid $15,000 for a 3-year course starting in 2020 till 2022.

The amount of relief you may claim for each Year of Assessment (2021 to 2023) is:

$15,000 / 3 = $5,000

Deferring Course Fees Relief claims

If your assessable income does not exceed $22,000 throughout the duration of the course, seminar or conference, you may defer and claim the Course Fees Relief:

  1. in the first Year of Assessment (YA) when your assessable income exceeds $22,000; or
  2. within 2-YA period from the YA relating to the year you have completed the course or attended the seminar or conference, whichever is earlier.

Scenarios for deferring Course Fees Relief claims

Scenario 1: Assessable income ≤ $22,000 throughout the course duration

Ms Lim is a hairdresser who took up a part-time vocational course in tourism. Her course began on 1 July 2016 and ended on 30 May 2018.

She continues working as a hairdresser after she completed the course. Her annual assessable income, course fee expenditure and amount of Course Fees Relief are as follows:

Year

Year of Assessment (YA)

Annual Assessable Income

Course Fees Paid

Course Fees Relief

2016

2017

$19,000

$2,000

Deferred

2017

2018

$20,000

$3,000

Deferred

2018

2019

$21,000

$1,000

Deferred

2019

2020

$21,500

Nil

Deferred

2020

2021

$23,000

Nil

$5,500

Ms Lim may defer her claim on Course Fees Relief until YA 2020 or YA 2021, since her assessable income for YA 2017 to YA 2019 (i.e. during the course duration) did not exceed $22,000.

As Ms Lim’s assessable income did not exceed $22,000 in YA 2020, she may claim the relief of up to $5,500* in YA 2021.

* When a taxpayer defers a claim in Course Fees Relief, it can only be claimed once, with a maximum allowable relief of $5,500.

Scenario 2: Assessable income fluctuates above and below $22,000

Mr Goh is an IT security executive. In 2017, he resigned from his company and took a 2-year Master's degree course in IT Security Management.

After completing his first year, he deferred his course for a year and in 2018, worked full time. He resumed his full-time course in 2019.

On completing his course in 2020, he was again employed by his former employer. His annual assessable income, course fee expenditure and amount of Course Fees Relief are as follows:

Year

Year of Assessment (YA)

Annual Assessable Income

Course Fees Paid

Course Fees Relief

2017

2018

$15,000

$4,000

Deferred

2018

2019

$40,000

Nil

$4,000

2019

2020

Nil

$3,000

Deferred

2020

2021

$50,000

Nil

$3,000

In YA 2019, Mr Goh must claim the relief for course fees of $4,000 incurred in 2017 as his assessable income has exceeded $22,000 in YA 2019.

Similarly, in YA 2021, he must claim the relief on course fees of $3,000 incurred in 2019 as his annual income has exceeded $22,000 in YA 2021.

Scenario 3: Deferred claim is forfeited

Mrs Lau was a finance executive. She attended a 3-year part-time accountancy post-diploma course from 2016 to 2018. On completion, she became a homemaker.

Her annual assessable income, course fee expenditure and amount of Course Fees Relief are as follows:

Year

Year of Assessment (YA)

Annual Assessable Income

Course Fees Paid

Course Fees Relief

2016

2017

$20,000

$2,500

Deferred

2017

2018

$25,000

$4,000

$5,500

2018

2019

Nil

$1,000

Deferred

2019

2020

Nil

Nil

Deferred

2020

2021

Nil

Nil

Forfeited

In YA 2018, Mrs Lau must claim the relief for course fees incurred in 2016 and 2017 (total = $6,500) as her income exceeded $22,000 in YA 2018. The relief has been capped at $5,500.

As Mrs Lau has no assessable income during YA 2020 and YA 2021, she will not be able to claim the relief on the course fees ($1,000) incurred in 2018. This amount is forfeited in YA 2021.

Scenario 4: Claim in Year of Assessment 2021 for course taken in 2018

Ms Tan is an engineer. She quit her job and took up a baking course in Mar 2018. She completed the course in Aug 2018. In Sep 2020, she opened a bakery.

Her annual assessable income, course fee expenditure and amount of Course Fees Relief are as follows:

Year Year of Assessment (YA) Annual Assessable Income Course Fees Paid Course Fees Relief
2018 2019 $80,000 $3,000 Nil. The course is not related to her profession as an engineer in 2018.
2019 2020 Nil Nil Nil
2020 2021 $30,000 Nil $3,000. Her income is above $22,000 and she has changed her career to one that is relevant to her course. Therefore, she is eligible to claim Course Fees Relief.

How to claim

e-Filing

  1. Login with your Singpass or Singpass Foreign user Account (SFA) at myTax Portal.
  2. Go to “Individuals” > “File Income Tax Return”.
  3. Select “Edit My Tax Form”.
  4. Go to “4. Deductions, Reliefs and Parenthood Tax Rebate”.
  5. Go to “Course Fees” and enter your claim.

 

Paper filing

Form B1 & B

Complete the item on “Course Fees Relief”.

FAQs

I have filed my Income Tax Return. What should I do if I have forgotten to claim, or need to amend my claim for Course Fees Relief?

1. If you e-Filed your Income Tax Return

Please re-file within 7 days of your previous submission or by 18 Apr, whichever is earlier. You will only be able to re-file once. When you re-file, you must include all your income details, expenses, donations and relief claims, where applicable. Once you have re-filed successfully, your new submission will override the previous submission.

2. If you filed a paper Income Tax Return or are unable to re-file online

Please email us:

a. your request to claim or revise the relief;

b. the amount of relief that you wish to claim or revise;

c. the name of the institution/school and the course attended;

d. the date(s) of payment of the course fees;

e. the amount of course fees paid on each date in (d); and

f. your confirmation that you have met the qualifying conditions.

I have received my tax bill for the current Year of Assessment. What should I do if I need to amend my claim for Course Fees Relief?

Please file an amendment using the “Object to Assessment” digital service at myTax Portal within 30 days from the date of your tax bill.

If you are unable to use the digital service, you may email us:

  1. your request to claim or revise the relief;
  2. the amount of relief that you wish to claim or revise;
  3. the name of the institution/school and the course attended;
  4. the date(s) of payment of the course fees;
  5. the amount of course fees paid on each date in (4); and
  6. your confirmation that you have met the qualifying conditions.