After community and industry outcry, the Government has deferred the introduction of the proposed $2000 cap on work-related self-education expenses until July 2015.

The cap will mean that tax deductions for work-related self-education expenses – such as study for formal qualifications, tuition fees and textbooks – would be limited to an annual amount of $2000 per person. There was previously no limit to claiming such expenses.

As an independent representative of Health Professionals, the VHPA believes the cap will have a negative effect on our members’ professional development, and in turn the quality of the healthcare workforce.

While the VHPA supports sensible measures to address any ‘rorts’ under the current system, it is important to support individuals who make a significant investment of time and cost to further their knowledge and skills.

Australia has a rigorous system for accreditation of Health Professionals that typically requires meeting continuing professional development requirements. The cap will clearly add to the costs associated with this.

We are also concerned about the effects these reforms will have on sole practitioners, small to medium practices, and practices located in rural areas where travel costs to access conferences are typically higher.

“A 12 month deferral is a good first step and we will continue to voice our concerns and highlight the negative effects of the policy,” says Craig McGregor, VHPA Secretary.