Expenses cap to hit advisers in pocket

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The Federal Government has announced that it will set a cap on how much people can claim on work-related expenses for education, from July 2014.

A cap of $2000 per person is set to save the Government about $520 million. The ATO states that currently, employees can claim expenses for:

  • Any course that maintains or improves a skill or specific knowledge required for your current work activities
  • A course that was leading to, or was likely to lead to, increased income from your current work activities, or
  • There is a direct connection between the course and your current work activities

In a statement, Treasurer Wayne Swan said, “Under current arrangements these deductions are unlimited and provide an opportunity for people to enjoy significant private benefits at taxpayers' expense.''

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) has expressed concern that the cap will restrict investment in ongoing education and upgrading of skills. IPA CEO Andrew Conway said it was important for professionals in the sector to update their qualifications to meet eligibility requirements for new regimes that may be implemented, such as the Tax Practitioner Board tax agent registration.  

“Another concern is whether conference expenses will be included as part of self-education and therefore, be subject to the draconian cap of $2,000. Current law allows conference expenses to be deducted under the general deductibility rules rather than the proposed self-education regime which already excludes the first $250 of expenditure.”

The IPA has called for more details from the Government as to how the proposed changes will operate without detrimentally impacting professional skill levels.

“The irony is that the Government is focussing on education while cutting the up skilling and continuous education of professionals who serve the public,” said Mr Conway.

  • Alan on 2/05/2013 10:37:37 AM

    Don't worry folks, game over on 14th September or before. The new government will hopefully repeal this nonsense like a lot of other BAD policy that this shambles of a government has produced. Can't wait for the election....

  • JD on 30/04/2013 4:47:28 PM

    Looking like economic scorched Australia policy. Labour won't retain power so lets stuff up everything even more on the way out. We need an election NOW!!!

  • Unimpressed on 30/04/2013 4:22:41 PM

    Can you believe it. Make it a requirment to have ongoing professional development to maintain relevant skills and then deny deductibilty. Maybe we should limit the overseas junkets of polititions to $2,000 as well.

  • Innocent Observer on 30/04/2013 12:11:36 PM

    “Under current arrangements these deductions are unlimited and provide an opportunity for people to enjoy significant private benefits at taxpayers' expense.''

    Good on you Swanny. It's about time we clamp down on these blood-sucking advisers free-loading off the public purse to stay educated. Pfff, like an adviser's (or doctors, or scientists, or engineers or....) education or training ever helped a client/patient (etc.).

    This has got to be one of the most stupid proposals of all time.

    Don't need Tom Waterhouse to tell us this (government) is a lame duck.

  • jay on 30/04/2013 11:33:54 AM

    when are we all going to stand up and justsay this is a Bad Bad Government, Full of Bad Bad People, With Bad Bad Policy, Who just do Bad Bad things

  • andrew on 30/04/2013 10:49:25 AM

    All I can say to this is Wayne - your credibility is Gonski, Julia , your credibility is Gonski- am I wrong in understanding the great cash grab under way is to fund additional education reform ??This applies to every profession

  • GAB on 30/04/2013 10:36:53 AM

    Vote of no confidence following the budget from hell. Could we have an early election coming....oh please. It's just getting worse, the govt is now in fully fledged panic mode.

  • paul on 30/04/2013 10:28:16 AM

    Hard to ignore this type of tyranny anymore. Whilst they have wasted our nations cash, the people pay for it, only the bankers win.

  • Brian Mallon on 30/04/2013 10:10:26 AM

    Typical lack of direction from this rudderless government; haemorrhaging cash on education revolutions whilst simultaneously cutting spending on existing education practices.

  • GAB on 30/04/2013 9:54:43 AM

    Of course this all works in favour of the institutions once again who often pay for employees education expenses...but the self-employed person or employee of a smaller businesss gets shafted (again)

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