Media Release: calls for tax deductions hearing devices
Urgent changes are needed to decades old tax rules to allow hearing devices to be claimed as a workplace deduction so Australians who are deaf or have hearing loss or ear and balance conditions can continue to work, support their families and help build the economy.
Deafness Forum of Australian Chair, David Brady said out-dated tax rules around hearing devices were drafted on the assumption that people with hearing loss could not work.
“It’s a national disgrace that in 2016 hearing devices that are essential for so many Australians to work and do their job are not tax deductible,” Mr Brady said.
“One in four Australians – or close to 4 million people- have a hearing health issue.
“People who are deaf, have hearing loss or ear and balance conditions are working in medicine, law, finance, in our schools and in our hospitals and running businesses, supporting their families and the Australian economy.
“However our out-dated tax rules are putting the price of the latest model of hearing devices, outside the reach of many workers – making it harder to reach their full potential.
“It’s crazy that other devices we need to work are tax deductible, like phones, calculators and even calculators, but essential communication tools like hearing aids are not.
“Its time our 20 year old tax laws caught up with the times and we will be asking all political parties to commit to this simple change ahead of the Federal Election on July 2”
The proposed changes are part of six-point election plan outlined by the new national campaign Break The Sound Barrier.
The election platform also calls for candidates to support:
- Free hearing checks for Australian children at key stages of life;
- A national hearing awareness promotion campaign;
- Improved accessibility for Auslan;
- Universal access to hearing health checks every five years for people over 50; and
- Safeguards for children with hearing loss under changes to the NDIS.
Break the Sound Barrier has united the deaf community to call for hearing health and well-being to be made a national health priority.
For more about the campaign and election plan go to: www.breakthesoundbarrier.com.au