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Self Education Cap

A cap on income tax deductions for self education expenses was introduced by the Commonwealth government in the 2013-2014 Budget presented to Parliament on 14 May 2013.

Under the proposal, individual taxpayers will be only able to claim a maximum deduction of $2,000 per annum for self education from 1 July 2014.  The Budget Papers show the Commonwealth expects to save $514.3 million over the next four years through the measure.  The Budget Papers said the change “will better target” work?related self?education expense deductions.

Additionally, the first $250 of self-education expenses is not deductible if the self-education expenses were incurred in respect of a course of education provided by a school, college or university.

“The potential for uncapped claims for a wide range of expenses provides an opportunity for some people to enjoy significant private benefits at taxpayers’ expense,” the Budget said, adding that the savings made would be redirected to help fund the Gonski reforms to school education”.

The measure affects a broad range of professionals, especially those with mandated continued professional development obligations including teachers, lawyers, accountants, engineers, doctors and other health professionals, and concern at the proposal has been widely expressed by professional bodies including the Law Society of NSW, the Australian Medical Association and the AusIMM.  There is widespread concern that the measure will encourage professionals to reduce continued professional develoipment to the minimum level required in different professions.

The Government said a discussion paper on the change will be released soon as part of its consultation process.

Geoscientists are not required to undertake continued professional development but recognise that it forms an essential element of professional pracxtice.  Many geoscientists have taken up voluntary professional registration which specifically provides independent verification of their continued professional development activities.

AIG will be seeking to have input to the consultation process, and expressing its concerns to the opposition in the lead-up to the Federal election in September.

Andrew Waltho

27 May 2013

Working with the new Australian Groundwater Modelling Guidelines

Working with the new Australian Groundwater Modelling Guidelines

The Australian groundwater modelling guidelines published in June 2012 have rapidly been adopted throughout the groundwater industry as a benchmark for best industry practice.

The guidelines are almost uniformly referenced by environmental regulators, model developers and groundwater modellers and have largely superseded the previous Murray–Darling Basin Groundwater Flow Modelling Guideline of 2001.

The guidelines were developed by NCGRT and SKM, and these half-day workshops aim to help participants understand how to apply the guidelines, and to provide a forum for discussion and feedback.

This is a FREE event, but registrations are required!

For detailed information on the workshop contents and schedule, and to register, please visit the NCGRT website.

Melbourne – 31 May
Canberra – 12 June
Sydney – 13 June
Brisbane –  14 June
Perth – 18 June

Click here for further information regarding the Australian Groundwater Modelling Guidelines.