Education Tax Refund on internet plans

As another school year begins, parents face the usual expenses of uniforms, books, sports gear and stationery. However, many parents are now having to dig a little deeper for laptops, software and internet connections.

Fortunately, families can find a cost-effective internet plan to suit everyone's needs, while receiving a welcome tax rebate from the government.

According to the government, a parent or guardian who cares for a school-age child can claim a tax refund on education expenses. Eligible expenses include the cost of buying and maintaining laptops, computer related equipment such as printers, software and the cost of home internet connections over the year.

Families can make a claim on a tax return, or by calling the Tax Office on 1300 720 092.

Family internet plans

Families who need an internet plan should look at bundling in their home phone service in order to save money. Although you can't claim on the home phone component under the Education Tax Refund, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can tell you how much the internet cost and you can use this figure to make a claim.

Make sure you pick a plan with plenty of peak-time data and go for a provider who will slow your internet if you go over the limit, rather than charging for extra time online. The following providers also offer mobile phone plans.

For families who make a lot of phone calls, Optus has some great Fusion plans, which include local, national and some mobile calls. For a limited time, Optus is also offering a free modem and free set-up for customers who sign up online. Give Optus a call on 1300 137 897 for more information and take a look at Optus plans on our website.

iiNet is another ISP with plans suitable for families. iiNet (and sister company Westnet) has a great reputation for customer service. Not only can you bundle your home phone service with your internet, iiNet also offers a movie on demand and TV service called fetchTV, cheap mobile phone plans and VoIP.

Give iiNet a call on 1300 106 571 for more information on plans, or take a look at iiNet deals here.

iPrimus is a major provider with good bundle plans across Australia. The Platinum plan is perfect for families and includes 25GB of data to be used anytime, line rental, local calls, national calls and 200 minutes of calls to iPrimus mobiles. Set-up is free and includes a standard modem. The monthly cost of this plan is $89.95 on a 24-month contract.

If your family plans to download a lot of data – for example, if you are planning to take advantage of FOXTEL's Xbox deal – you should take a look at an unlimited plan from TPG. For just $29.99 a month plus a $30 home phone line, TPG offers unlimited data, so you never have to worry about being shaped again. For an extra $5 a month, TPG also offers free local phone calls. Give Compare Broadband a call on 1300 106 571 for more information.