IHEA members are in favour of the government expanding the tax deductibility of education to include courses not linked to a person’s employment. This is seen as a positive move towards incentivising Australians to reskill and transition through different careers, recognising the pattern of employees operating in multiple industries through their lifetime.
The limit to the eligibility of courses for this new tax deduction should be that the study takes place at a provider that is registered and accredited by TEQSA, or another appropriate regulator, and that the course is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework. This will protect the student and Australian taxpayer as it will ensure that the courses undertaken meet a high-quality standard and will be recognised by Australian employers and so will be likely to achieve the desired employment outcomes of the student.
IHEA urges the government to keep any changes to the tax deductibility of education as simple as possible to ensure the greatest gain from the incentive that is the intended result of the new policy. Trying to define the courses that will be in demand in the future will lead to a stifling of innovation and the addition of unnecessary complications to the system. Ensuring the providers offering the course are registered with the appropriate regulator and that the courses are accredited by them should provide sufficient protection to the student, government, and the Australian taxpayer.
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