Finishing a University course brings with it some important financial considerations you should be aware of. In the case of your finances, it certainly ‘pays’ to be on top of your situation and understand the financial implications of completing your studies.
If you have questions about your taxes you can go to the following website for a range of ways to contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). There is also a free Tax Help service offered by a network of Tax Office-trained community volunteers. Tax Help is aimed at people who have simple tax returns (that is, salary and wages, bank interest, Centrelink payments and dividends) who meet an income test.
Remember to keep track and save receipts of all your study related expenses so that you can claim deductions from your tax work-related expenses.
The ATO also has information available specific to certain occupations which say what deductions they may be eligible for.
Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS)
In the 2009-10 financial year, if you are earning over $73,000 as a single or starting at $146,000 as a couple with 0-1 dependants you will pay an extra 1% of taxes, if you don’t have private health insurance. So, if you are earning over this amount and depending on your financial circumstances and health care needs, you may want to consider getting private health insurance, especially if you can no longer be covered under your family’s plan as you will no longer be a student. More information
There are also ways of reducing your taxable income. Some jobs have the option of Salary Packaging where you pay for certain expenses before tax (speak to your employer about this). Another way is by giving regular donations to registered charities of your choice (charitable donations over $2 are tax deductible).
Pay your debts and claim your credits
Refund of Unused Internet and Printing Credits
Students in their last session of study, can apply for a refund of any unused Internet and printing credits. Details of their Internet usage and any unused credits can be sought online from the Division of Information Technology (DIT) website through my.csu.edu.au or through the Student Services wesbite.
The Division of Finance has a policy in place to refund small credit amounts in cash through the cashiers (up to $20 in 2008), with amounts in excess of this figure being refunded by electronic funds transfer (EFT) directly to the student's bank account. In both instances you must complete a refund claim form and lodge it through for processing through the cashiers.
Students with outstanding charges should be receiving regular eBox statements notifying them of their liability. However, some charges may come on “late” (after physically leaving the campus) like library fines and replacement costs if you have not returned all your books. Also students who have lived on-campus should be aware of residential charges that may come on in the two weeks after leaving accommodation for things such as damage to residential areas.
As a final measure, all students in their last session of study, may wish to check their "Financial Balances" online in case some last minute charges have been raised, as these will affect release of your results and also being able to graduate.
The Division of Finance website lists all acceptable methods of payment: