The House of Representatives Economics Committee is investigating trading tax deductions for lower tax rates and is due to report at the end of February.
IPA chief executive officer Andrew Conway warned that while a reduction in personal income tax is an attractive proposition for most people, it will not compensate a majority for the loss of having the right to claim legitimate work-related deductions.
“Under such a proposal, up to nine million Australian taxpayers would lose their existing ability to claim deductions relating to expenses incurred in earning their income – a fundamental entitlement under our tax system,” Mr Conway said.
“And employees should not be under the false assumption that employers will pick up the slack. Most businesses in Australia are small businesses who can ill afford to fund the shortfall,” he added.
Mr Conway said small businesses in particular will be affected where an employee chooses not to buy tools of trade – such as mobile phones and laptops – because they will no longer be able to claim them as a legitimate deduction.
“Loss of essential tools of trade will lead to further deterioration of Australia’s already declining productivity,” he said.
“Taxpayers may not be aware that self-education expenses are a component of work-related deductions. Any talk of losing the ability to claim a deduction for self-education is contrary to the government’s push for innovation," he added.