Deduct now, earn later – the case for a tax deduction on training for future jobs

The feds ask whether the tax deduction for work-related training and education should apply to future as well as current employment. The Innovative Research Universities lobby thinks it should

“The need for people to shift employment fields across their working lives means the tax deduction should be available for all study likely to improve future employment,” the IRU argues in its response to Treasury’s discussion paper.

While the lobby acknowledges a tax deduction will most benefit higher income earners, “it is a plausible additional lever for the government to use.”

However, the IRU wants to restrict any deduction to courses from TEQSA and/or ASQA registered providers.  And it does not want government attempting to pick employment growth winners by listing industries where a life-time deduction applies. “Because of rapid changes in which fields are seen to have shortages (including by sub-field and geographical area), the ongoing need for new people in all employment fields and the evidence that projections of future employment miss some growth areas and overstate others, no list will be suitable.”

As for rorting, that is why the Tax Office exists, “the government should continue to emphasise that the deduction relates to employment outcomes, with the ATO able to test claims against that.”