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Families get boost from change to student fees

HARD-pressed families with more than one child in college are set to benefit from a change in the Finance Bill that will give them some tax relief.

Independent TDs Michael Lowry and Jackie Healy-Rae claimed credit yesterday for the concession.

The change comes after the Government decided in December's Budget that student registration fees will rise by €500 to €2,000.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan initially said parents would not be able to claim any tax relief for the higher fees. But the Finance Bill is now set to have an amendment that will see the fees to be paid for second and subsequent children in college being granted tax relief.

If a family has two full-time students the parents will get relief at 20pc on the second fee of €2,000. Students who are in part-time education will have the first €1,000 of a claim for relief discarded.

The Department of Finance said: "The change will provide for the Government decision that the full impact of the increase in the student contribution would not adversely affect families where more than one student is attending college."

And the tax relief will be available for other students that are not subject to the student registration fee, up to a maximum limit of €5,000 a year.

Irish Independent