The Age this morning reports on a Federal Court judgment that opens the way for welfare recipients to claim as tax deductions expenses incurred in maintaining their eligibility for welfare.
The case was brought by Symone Antsis, a former Australian Catholic University teaching student. In the tax year in dispute, she earned about $15,000 working for the Katies retail chain and about $3,600 from Youth Allowance. In her tax return, she claimed work-related self-education expenses which included depreciation on her computer and spending on university textbooks.
The rule on self-education expenses is that the deductible expenses have to be related to your current employment. Her expenses were clearly unrelated to selling women’s clothes. But she argued that they were necessary to undertake the studies necessary to maintain her YA eligiblity, and therefore she ought to be able to deduct them.
Amazingly, Justice Ryan of the Federal Court accepted this argument:
Continue reading “Should welfare recipients be able to claim tax deductions to make them welfare eligible?”