PRESS RELEASE Cap on Tax Deductions

BECA Labels Government Cap on Tax Deductions as Misguided

Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) has labelled the Federal Government’s decision to cap tax deductions for work-related self-education expenses as misguided and called for the move to be reviewed.

BECA Executive Manager Inge Garofani said the $2000 cap announced this week was far too low and would directly affect the business events industry by reducing travel and expenditure by domestic visitors.

“We understand the need to fund other government initiatives but believe the cap should be increased to a level which will not stifle our industry,” Ms Garofani said.

“On one hand the Federal Government has set a business events target to achieve delegate expenditure of $16 billion by 2020, but on the other they are risking our ability to achieve that target by capping the tax deductable level on expenses.”

Ms Garofani said the total value to the Australian economy of the business events industry in 2012 was $24 billion and based on current growth levels was forecast to reach $31 billion by 2020[1].  Delegate expenditure alone on business events in 2012 was valued at $12.87 billion[2].

“Domestic business events visitors, including overnight and day visitors, contributed $10.15 billion or almost 79 per cent of total delegate expenditure1.  It is these domestic visitors and this expenditure which are directly targeted by the new Federal Government cap.”

Ms Garofani said many professionals such as lawyers and accountants relied on work-related self-education to ensure they stayed at the forefront of their profession.

“Continued education is delivered through business events and provides an opportunity for professionals to improve their skills and knowledge enabling them to better provide for clients.

“To implement such a tight cap which will impact on our industry and the knowledge economy of Australia is misguided.”

[1] Tourism and Transport Forum Report, The Value of Business Events, 2013

[2] Tourism Research Australia, total delegate spend including day visitors to December 2012