Training Courses & Qualifications

I have recently started to trade as a self-employed music tutor and in order to do this I had to gain a teaching qualification.  Can I deduct the cost of the training course and exams  in my first set of accounts even though the expense was incurred before I started trading?

1st August 2010

When considering the cost of professional qualifications and courses, the Revenue will consider whether or not the claimant was learning new skills. 

Where the training is undertaken merely to update the current expertise and skills of the individual, this will usually be regarded as revenue expenditure and as such deductible from the business income, provided it is incurred wholly and exclusively for the purpose of the trade.

Where the cost relates to new expertise or knowledge it is classed as capital expenditure and cannot be deducted from business income.  It would appear from the query above that the teaching qualification would be classed as a new skill and therefore the expnse will not be allowable.

There are instances where the distinction is not clear and there have been recent court cases concerning this area.  If you are uncertain whether or not you should be claiming the cost of training courses or qualifications, contact your local TaxAssist Accountant for further advice.

By Jo Nockels

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