Student Loan Tax Suspension Extended

Date —

30 September 2020

Education Sector/s —
Higher Education ◾ Vocational Education & Training

Summary —

The Australian Government has accepted a recommendation made by the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) that the suspension of the Student Loan Tax on FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans be extended to 30 June 2021.

Key Issues —

The Student Loan Tax is levied on students studying with most independent tertiary education providers that access a FEE-HELP loan or a VET Student Loan to fund their studies. The amount is added to the student’s total debt.*

ITECA, with the great support of its members, has been a lead advocate for the removal of the Student Loan Tax.

The Australian Government has temporarily suspended the tax on FEE-HELP loans and VET Student Loans for units of study with a census date of 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020 as part of the Covid-19 response. This was consistent with recommendations laid out in the Covid-19 Response – Backing Independent Tertiary Education Providers action plan advanced by ITECA.

Recognising the ongoing challenges faced by independent tertiary education providers, ITECA had recommended to the Australian Government that the temporary suspension of the Student Loan Tax be extended to 30 June 2021.

The great news for students and independent tertiary education providers is that the Australian Government has accepted this advice – the Student Loan Tax suspension will continue through to 30 June 2021.

“This is great news for students and independent providers across the higher education, vocational education, training and skills sector. ITECA has been in active discussion with the Ministers in the education portfolio and it’s great that they listened and acted,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.

ITECA members have taken the lead in advocating for the permanent removal of the Student Loan Tax and some key recent updates on the campaign are listed below.

ITECA Advocacy ―
FEE-HELP & VET Student Loan Tax Abolition

Higher education legislative reforms get senate committee tick   [25 Sept 2020]
Student loan tax in the senate   [18 Sep 2020]
FEE-HELP & VET Student Loan Tax suspension call   [15 Sep 2020]
FEE-HELP Student loan tax advocacy   [9 Sep 2020]
Student loan tax elimination call   [3 August 2020]
Higher education student loan tax reduction welcomed    [29 June 2020]

ITECA recently appeared before a Senate Committee to argue in support of legislation before the parliament that included provisions to reduce the 25% higher education Student Loan Tax to 20%. Although this is a long way from the permanent removal of the Student Loan Tax that ITECA has advocated for, it is none-the-less a welcome relief for students.

ITECA, along with other tertiary education stakeholders, continues to lobby for the permanent removal of the Student Loan Tax.

The campaign to end the Student Loan Tax is an excellent example of what member-driven policy advocacy is all about.

Further Information —

If you're an ITECA member and would like more information on this matter, the ITECA team would value the opportunity to talk to you.  Simply send an email to or telephone 1300 421 017.  Stay up to date via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

* Students at Bond University, The University of Notre Dame Australia, University of Divinity, and Torrens University Australia do not pay the student loan fee

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