Letter: Why Can't Students Claim Their Expenses?

The Birmingham Post (England), December 13, 2003 | Go to article overview

Letter: Why Can't Students Claim Their Expenses?


Byline: Dr HENRY WARSON

Dear Editor, -If a company pays for young employees to study at evening classes, part-time all-day education, or even full-time education for a period, it is treated as business expenditure, and is eligible to be charged as an expense against income tax.

On this basis, why should not the full expenditure of a student be chargeable against income tax? A student has actually a negative income during his study period, which can reasonably be considered as pounds 6,000 per annum. With a pounds 3,000 tuition fee, a normal three-year course will leave a student with a pounds 27,000 deficit on leaving university.

If these student fees have to be charged, why then should not the expenses incurred by students, which are de facto capital expenditure, be chargeable against income tax? If an income tax allowance of pounds 6,000 living expenses plus university fees was allowed, and given as a credit against future income tax, which would be the tax on pounds 27,000 for a three year course, amounting to 22 percent of this is most cases, it would give a credit of pounds 5,940 before any income tax was payable. The post graduate would pay no income tax for about three years, and for double that period for the longer courses. Cannot this be considered by the Government?

This would not effect an ultimate repayment.

The Prime Minister has stated that we cannot afford to maintain half our young people in universities without fees being charged for their education. …

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