The Government has recently passed more legislation in relation to HECS-HELP repayments. Earlier this year we saw the Government enact legislation aimed at collecting HELP debts from people who have moved overseas. The most recent changes relate to the removal of both the up-front payment discount and voluntary repayment bonus, with effect from 1 January 2017.
Currently, if you are a student under the HECS-HELP system and make a payment of your tuition costs before undertaking the course of study, a 10% discount is applied. If you do not pay the tuition costs upfront, the amount is converted into a HELP debt. This debt is not required to be repaid until your HELP repayment income exceeds the threshold (currently $54,126 for the 2015/2016 financial year). If you make a voluntary repayment of more than $500 towards your HELP debt, a discount of 5% is applied.
If you require assistance determining whether you should make a voluntary repayment before 1 January 2017, please contact Murray Howlett, Josh Meggs or Kylee Smith from our Taxation Services Division on (07) 3023 1300.