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The HECS-HELP is a Higher Education Loan programme offered to university graduates by Australian Government. This benefit is provided by the Australian Taxation office (ATO) for the graduates on the field of maths and science, nursing, early childhood education (ECE) and education to take up related occupations or work in specified locations. The maximum HECS-HELP benefit amount is $1,918.39 per year. While studying, graduates have to pay zero interest for the debt and based on the earnings, graduates repay the debt once they reach a stipulated level of income. The minimum income threshold is $54,126 for the repayment and rates varies from 4% to 8% depending on the income.
Effects of HELP benefit on Tax Return
Eligible applicants will receive the benefit as a reduction in the compulsory HECS-HELP debt repayment as shown on their income tax notice of assessment for the income year for which they are applying for. The HECS-HELP benefit may reduce overall tax debt or increase an income tax refund, depending on individual circumstances. If any individual repay voluntarily the HELP debt, then he/she may get extra benefit such as 5% bonus on repayment amount or reduction on tax payable etc.