by Doctors Wealth Accounting


With the most recent treasury announcement regarding proposed limitations on self education expense claims per financial year ($2000/year) we believe it is important to highlight what is classified as self education expenses according to ATO guidelines.

Self Education Expenses

Self-education expenses are the costs you incur to undertake a course of study at a school, college, university or other recognised place of education. That is:

You are upgrading your qualifications for your current employment.

  • You are improving specific skills or knowledge used in your current employment.
  • You are employed as a trainee and you are undertaking a course that forms part of that traineeship.
  • You can show that at the time you were working and studying, your course led, or was likely to lead, to an increase in employment income.

For a doctor, these are the courses undertaken in relation to obtaining your professional specialist qualification recognition e.g., costs incurred by doctors studying towards being an GP, Physician, Surgeon and other specialties that were initially pre-selected in their residency years.


Our View

In our opinion, this does not include seminar, conferences and other training courses that are aimed more towards doctors in general, does not serve towards obtaining credits for a specialist specific program and are more towards maintaining CPD hours for professional doctors.

Self Education Costs Non Self Education Costs
College Fees (registration and study courses)

Master Degrees

Specific courses as prescribed or recommended by college to undertake further specialist education

Education and travel  costs  direct or indirectly related to the above

General CPD seminar and conferences

(generally no pre-requisite required other than doctor registration)

Education and travel  costs  direct or indirectly related to the above

Non self-education costs are claimed as work related deductions and thus not subject to the proposed $2,000 limit proposed.

Note however, that you can only claim self-education expenses when you already in a training path towards that specialty. If you are already in a specialty and is contemplating a change in career by changing to another specialty, such deductions are rarely, if ever, deductible.

We now look forward to seeing if this measure actually passes through parliament. If it does then there may be some opportunity to mitigate the lost deduction through other avenues, for example through salary packaging. Watch this space.

To arrange to meet for comprehensive tax and financial advice specific to your situation, please contact us on (07) 32528810 or here