Yesterday, the Treasurer, the Hon. Joe Hockey MP and Assistant Treasurer, the Hon. Senator Arthur Sinodinos AO, announced that the Coalition Government will not proceed with the $2,000 Self-education Expenses Cap proposed by the previous Labor Government.
“The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux Inc (AACB) applauds the federal government’s decision to reject the proposed self-education expenses cap and to continue to encourage Australian professionals to invest in their future, and that of our nation,” said Andrew Hiebl, Executive Director of AACB.
“The Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer got it right. There is a direct link between the benefits of individuals funding their own work-related education and valuable innovation and productivity outcomes for Australia. AACB agrees that people should continue to be encouraged to invest in their own professional development.”
“Business events play a key role in our nation’s economic development contributing not only to the highest daily yield of any sector in the visitor economy, but also delivering benefits to the nation far exceed their hard dollar value. Conventions and other professional meetings are proven to showcase Australian expertise to the world, and drive innovation and productivity. Research has proven that business events attract global leaders and investment decision makers to our shores, and provide a platform for global knowledge exchange.”
The National Business Events Strategy for Australia 2020 identified taxation as a key supply-side issue and highlighted that, “The single most important tax policy for the domestic business events sector is the tax deductibility of delegates’ attendance at conferences, seminars, meetings and exhibitions (which are directly related to their income generation).”
Critically, the domestic business events market supports the sector’s ability to attract international conventions and therefore directly impacts Australia’s trade and investment potential.
In response to Treasury’s discussion paper, Reform to Deductions for Education Expenses, released in May 2013, AACB called for a review of claims in excess of $2,000 to show evidence of misuse before introducing any limiting reforms. Treasurer Hockey suggests that, “there is no credible evidence of substantial abuse of this deduction” and added that red-tape costs to implement the proposed cap, as well as costs to the economy, would be significant against the forecast budget savings.
The announcement is also a great result for the ScrapTheCap Alliance which has the support of over 90 professional organisations.
“AACB participated in the alliance along with Universities Australia and the Australian Medical Association, and other leading associations, and acknowledges their proactive approach to this issue that focused on protecting accreditation requirements for industry professionals,” Mr Hiebl concluded.