Tax cap axed

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Dr Karin Alexander of the ADA.
Dr Karin Alexander of the ADA.

The Australian Government has advised that it is to defer the introduction of the proposed$2,000 cap on work related education expense deductions until 1 July 2015 in order to consult further on how best minimise the impact on genuine continuing professional development.

The Australian Dental Association Inc. (ADA) welcomed the announcement by the Treasurer Chris Bowen, as part of the Government’s Economic Statement, to defer the introduction of the cap on tax deductions for self-education. However the ADA says that they will save any celebration until the cap is absolutely off the table for all political parties.

“The ADA is pleased that the Australian Government has heard the concerns of dentists and other professionals regarding the implications of the proposed cap. To have continued down this path may have potentially resulted in a ‘dumbing down’ of Australian dentists’ knowledge. This could only lead to poorer outcomes for Australian patients,” said Dr Karin Alexander, ADA Federal President, in a press release.

As part of its commitment to arresting the continual decline in Australian Government’s financial position, the 2013 budget proposed to introduce a $2,000 cap on the tax deduction that can be claimed for self-education expenses. The delay in introducing the policy is expected to decrease receipts by $250 million over the forward estimates period.

“Dentists in rural and remote areas of Australia and those planning to undertake further specialist training would have been most affected by this policy direction. Health professionals make a lifelong commitment and investment in their own self education to ensure they can provide the highest quality of service to patients. The Australian community deserve to have their dental care provided by the most skilled and educated workforce. This cap would have achieved nothing more than act as a tax on education,” Dr Alexander added.

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