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March 7th, 2014
Conventions, conferences, and post-grad university schooling are quite expensive for doctors despite being in the higher income brackets. The government, nonetheless, offers such aids to them through significant tax deductions, under self-education expenses. Controversy arose last year from an attempted government reform which would limit the deductions for self-education expenses. This maximum or “cap” would have certainly put a dent on the income of medical professionals. Fortunately, the cap policy was abolished, as Southern Weekly reports:
“The decision to dump the tax deduction cap on self-education expenses has been applauded by southern NSW doctors but they have stressed that more work needs to be done for rural health.
The $2000 cap on self-education expenses had rural doctors concerned about the costs of ongoing medical training which requires them to travel into metropolitan regions such as Sydney.”
Required of any Australian doctor to develop himself or herself as a professional is the need for self-education. In order to render quality health care, a doctor has to be up-to-date with new scientific discoveries and innovations in treatment and procedures. The opportunities for learning never end, and self-education expenses can range from $5,000 for general practitioners to $20,000 for specialists per year. Financial planners who have been doing reliable medical accounting for medical practitioners thoroughly advocate tax deductions from such activities that are essential to their clients’ continuing professional development.
The expenses that can be claimed for tax deductions, include professional development fees, vehicle and travel, distinctive and protective clothing, and equipment overheads —these few out of many others in an extensive list of acceptable deductions. As they are used directly for work, these allowable levies are further described and outlined in detail by the Australian Taxation Office.
Conversely, there are expenses that may be work-related but cannot be claimed, such as daily accommodation and meals, work-to-home travels, and debt repayment through HECS-HELP or other loan schemes. Some expenses, especially tools or assets like desks and computers may be subject to value depreciation or reduction, which can be computed by expert medical accountants for tax deductions, as well.
Calculating tax deductions from your business expenses can be rather complex. Declared income, offsets against personal health insurance, superannuation, and other issues, also play into doctors’ comprehensive audits. How these factor into annual financial planning for doctors can be analyzed and simplified by consulting with chartered accountants and financial planning advisers, such as MEDIQ. With medical accounting as its specialty, MEDIQ offers doctors a range of financial services, including accounting and tax planning solutions, to help protect their clients’ business and make life less complicated for them.
(Source: Cap scrap welcomed by doctors, Southern Weekly, November 18, 2013)