AMA: Don’t re-introduce the Work-Related Self-Education Expenses Tax Cap

7 Apr 2016

Amid pre-Budget speculation that the Government is forensically examining all aspects of tax policy for savings, the AMA has written to Treasurer Scott Morrison warning against reforms to the tax treatment of work-related expenses.

In April 2013, the former Labor Government announced changes to tax deductions for work-related self-education expenses, including a $2,000 cap on deductions. In November 2013, the new Coalition Government dropped the controversial and divisive policy. This move was welcomed enthusiastically by the AMA, a founding member of the 70-strong Scrap the Cap Alliance of professional associations and organisations, whose 1.6 million members were disadvantaged by the proposed changes.

AMA Vice President, Dr Stephen Parnis, said this week that the AMA is encouraging the Treasurer and the Government to stand by their 2013 decision to support the continuing education requirements of many professional groups, including doctors.

“There have been worrying reports recently that the Government may be looking at resurrecting the unpopular reforms, including talk of the possible introduction of a ‘standard deduction’ for work-related expenses. This would effectively be a cap by another name,” Dr Parnis said.

“A cap on work-related self-education expenses would hit junior doctors, salaried doctors, GPs, and other specialists, and is simply not in the public interest. It would create a huge disincentive for doctors to pursue specialised education that benefits the whole community.

“The AMA urges the Government to scrap any thoughts of a cap.”

Full media release