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Frequently asked questions regarding the TPS levy

When will I get my 2017 TPS Levy invoice?
How will I receive my 2017 TPS Levy invoice?
How long will I have to pay my 2017 TPS Levy invoice?
What will happen if I am late in paying my 2017 TPS Levy invoice?
What do I have to do to ensure I receive the Levy invoice for 2017?
Who has to pay the risk rated premium component of the TPS Levy?
How is tuition fee revenue defined?
What should be included in the tuition fee declaration for the purpose of the TPS Levy?
Are providers required to report their scholarships income as a part of the tuition fee income for the previous calendar year?
Should the tuition fee income for overseas students include any refunds payable to students?
Should tuition fee income be reported for students who have paid their fees, but are yet to commence their studies in the following year?
Will there be transparency regarding a provider's risk rating?
Will a provider have the opportunity to appeal their risk rating and have it reviewed?
How is the TPS Levy calculated for providers with multiple CRICOS registration numbers?
What information is used to determine the risk ratings of the TPS Levy?
How is the 'growth in overseas student numbers' risk rating factor calculated? What is the source for the enrolment numbers used for the calculation?
How long are the specified percentage rate and risk rating factors of the TPS Levy set for?
How far back is a non-compliance history considered for the purposes of the risk rating premium component of the TPS Levy?
When will providers be advised if the special tuition protection levy is going to be applied for the following year?
Is the TPS Levy invoice payable as one amount or can I pay in instalments?
Why is the TPS Levy not invoiced on a financial year basis?
If I am in the process of registering as a CRICOS provider will I have to pay the TPS Levy?
I have recorded an incorrect amount of overseas students' tuition fee income for the 2016 calendar year. How can I amend this figure?


When will I get my TPS Levy invoice?

It is expected that you should receive your 2017 TPS Levy invoice in April 2017.

How will I receive my 2017 TPS Levy invoice?

An email containing your invoice will be sent to you via the Provider Registration and International Students Management System (PRISMS).

Please ensure the correct Principal Executive Officer (PEO) and E-Business email contact details are listed in PRISMS. If your PEO's details are incorrect, click here for the appropriate contact information to have their details updated.

How long will I have to pay my 2017 TPS Levy invoice?

You will have 28 days from the date of invoice to pay your invoice.

What will happen if I am late in paying my 2017 TPS Levy invoice?

Failure to pay your TPS Levy invoice by the due date will result in the Minister taking action under Section 83(1) of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act), such as suspension or cancellation of your provider registration for non-compliance.

If your registration is suspended or cancelled; under section 171(1) of ESOS Act, you will be required to pay a reinstatement fee of $548 (2017 figure) before your registration can be reinstated.

Under section 172(2) of the ESOS Act, it is a requirement that you also pay a late payment penalty for any TPS Levy, payable by your institution that remains unpaid after the time it became due for payment. The amount of the penalty is 20% per year (calculated pro-rata) on the unpaid amount calculated from the day when the original amount became due for payment.

What do I have to do to ensure I receive my 2017 TPS Levy invoice ?

It is paramount that you check PRISMS to make sure the Principal Executive Officer (PEO) and E-Business email contact details are correct. This will ensures that your organisation receives all correspondence sent by the TPS regarding this year's TPS Levy process.

A request for information (RFI) will be sent early February 2017 which requires you to make a declaration of the total amount of overseas students' tuition fee income your institution received in the 2016 calendar year. This is a requirement under subsection 26(3) of the ESOS Act. All non-exempt CRICOS registered providers are required to make this declaration into the specified field in PRISMS by the date noted in the PRISMS notice.

If you did not receive this request for information by Friday 24 February 2017, please email operations@tps.gov.au

Who has to pay the risk rated premium component of the TPS Levy?

The risk rated premium component of the TPS Levy is payable by all CRICOS registered other than exempt providers.

Risk rated premium component - exemptions

For subsection 12(b) of the Education Services for Overseas Students (TPS Levies) Act 2012 (the Act), the following are exempt from the requirement to pay the risk rated premium component.

  • Table A providers - approved under the Higher Education Support Act
  • Government Schools
  • State or Territory VET institutions

Base fee component - exemptions

For subsection 12(a) of the Act, registered schools that have no international students are exempt from the requirement to pay the base fee component (see section 7 of the Act).

To view a copy of the Education Services for Overseas Students (TPS Levies) (Levy exemptions) Determination 2012 (No. 1), click here.

How is tuition fee revenue defined?

Tuition fees are defined in the ESOS Act, Division 1, Part 1, section 7, and include fees directly related to the provision of a course that the provider is delivering, or offering to deliver to the student. Tuition fees do not generally include such things as transportation, accommodation, books or equipment even if they are pre-paid by the student directly to the provider and purchased by the provider on behalf of the student.

Tuition fees for each student are specified in the written agreement made between the student and the provider.

What should be included in the tuition fee declaration for the purpose of the TPS Levy?

You should only include income received from overseas students or intending overseas students on a student visa that relates directly to the provision of tuition.

Are providers required to report their scholarships income as a part of the tuition fee income for the previous calendar year?

All overseas student tuition fee income must be included whether that income comes directly from the student, from a scholarship fund or any other source. If the scholarship provides a fee waiver and the provider does not receive any income as a result, such a scholarship does not need to be reported.

Should the tuition fee income for overseas students include any refunds payable to students?

The tuition fee income for overseas students for the 2016 calendar year should not include an amount that was refunded to students.

Should tuition fee income be reported for students who have paid their fees in 2016, but are set to commence their studies in the 2017?

The tuition fee income should be reported in whichever way the provider would normally report revenue for the purposes of accounting standards, (i.e. either on an accrual or cash basis). However, the method of reporting should be consistent for each calendar year.

Will there be transparency regarding a provider's risk rating?

The list of risk factors applicable to providers and other relevant material is set out in a legislative instrument agreed by the Treasurer.

To view a copy of the legislative instrument used for the 2016 TPS Levy collection, click here.

The legislative instrument for the upcoming 2017 TPS Levy collection will be uploaded onto the TPS website when it has been finalised.

Will a provider have the opportunity to appeal their risk rating and have it reviewed?

In the first instance you should contact the TPS Director via email (director@tps.gov.au) if you would like to request a review of the way your risk rating was calculated or query the Levy amount stated on your invoice.

If you are still unhappy with the outcome you received from the TPS, you can lodge a further appeal with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

How is the TPS Levy calculated for providers with multiple CRICOS registration numbers?

The TPS Levy is calculated for each CRICOS registration individually, based on the information contained in PRISMS.

Nationally registered providers

Any provider who has amalgamated their CRICOS registration into a single registration between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016 should in 2017 only receive one invoice for the amalgamated registration.

If this has not occurred (i.e. if you receive more than one invoice), please email operations@tps.gov.au.

If your organisation has amalgamated multiple CRICOS registrations after 1 January 2017, you will still receive invoices for each registration for the 2017 TPS Levy.

If you would like information regarding how the risk rated premium component was calculated for nationally registered providers in 2016, see section 9 of the Education Services for Overseas Students (TPS Levies - Risk Rated Premium and Special Tuition Protection Components) Instrument 2015, by clicking here.

What information is used to determine the risk ratings of the TPS Levy?

Information in PRISMS, submitted by CRICOS registered providers, is used to determine the risk ratings for the TPS Levy.

How is the 'growth in overseas student numbers' risk rating factor calculated? What is the source for the enrolment numbers used for the calculation?

The way growth in overseas student numbers is calculated will depend on whether your institution had overseas student enrolments in 2014.

Section 5 of the Education Services for Overseas Students (TPS Levies - Risk Rated Premium and Special Tuition Protection Components) Instrument 2016 will outline how 'growth in enrolments' is calculated. This instrument will be uploaded on the TPS website once it has been finalised (before 31 December 2016).

The number of enrolments is calculated in the same way as for the Annual Registration Charge (ARC). The enrolment numbers are extracted from PRISMS.

How long are the specified percentage rate and risk rating factors of the TPS Levy set for?

Under subsection 54B(f) of the ESOS Act, the TPS Director is required to make a legislative instrument in relation to the risk rated premium and special tuition protection components of the TPS Levy before the end of each calendar year. With consideration of the advice and recommendation from the TPS Advisory Board, the TPS Director will review the specified percentage rate and risk rating factors each year prior to making a legislative instrument.

How far back is a non-compliance history considered for the purposes of the risk rating premium component of the TPS Levy?

Currently, a non-compliance history is considered for the previous three calendar years.

When will providers be advised if the special tuition protection levy is going to be applied for 2017?

The special tuition protection component of the 2017 TPS Levy has to be published as a component of the TPS Levy legislative instrument before the end of the 2016 calendar year.

For 2017, it is expected that the special tuition protection component of the TPS Levy will not be applied.

An update will be provided once the legislative instrument has been finalised.

Is the 2017 TPS Levy invoice payable as one amount, or can I pay in instalments?

The 2017 TPS Levy invoice is payable as one amount. Unfortunately, it is not possible to pay the TPS Levy in instalments.

Why is the TPS Levy not invoiced on a financial year basis?

The TPS Levy is invoiced on a calendar year basis to align with the academic year.

If I am in the process of registering as a CRICOS provider will I have to pay the TPS Levy?

Any provider who is registered as of 1 January 2017 will be required to pay the TPS Levy for 2017. This also includes any provider whose registration has been suspended.

If a provider's registration is approved after 1 January 2017, the provider will only be liable to pay an 'Initial TPS Levy' for 2017. This comprises of the Base and Administrative Fee components of the TPS Levy.

I have recorded an incorrect amount of overseas students' tuition fee income for the 2016 calendar year. How can I amend this figure?

You are able to amend your overseas students' tuition fee income figure in PRISMS until the 2017 TPS Levy invoice has been generated (in April 2017).

If an amendment to the figure is required after the invoice has been generated, the Principal Executive Officer (PEO) of your institution will need to email the TPS Director (director@tps.gov.au) to amend the amount.