What can I claim? Tax deductions for nurses and midwives
Nurses and midwives can have many work-related expenses that are claimable at tax time. Last year, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) designed a poster that specifically addresses common work-related expenses for nurses, midwives and carers and Etax Accountants have written an article that outlines what you can and cannot claim.
Download the ATO poster here.
Here’s more detail from Etax Accountants: As a nurse or midwife you might regularly purchase items that are work-related. Below we’ll cover a range of tax deductions for nurses and midwives to help you get the most out of your next tax return.
Common tax deductions for nurses
While each individual is different, the items below are usually classified as tax deductions for nurses. Remember, you’ll need to keep receipts and documentation for any expenses you claim.
- Agency costs: Agency-represented nurses may need to pay for fees or memberships – claim it!
- Memberships and union fees: If you pay a membership fee to a nursing industry body or if you pay dues to a union, you can claim these costs.
- Work uniform: Nurses often have specific clothing required for their job. This clothing includes protective equipment, uniforms with a logo and laundering expenses for those items.
- Stationery: This includes diaries, planners, log books, workbooks etc.
- Computer/laptop: If you have to use your personal computer or laptop for work, you can claim depreciation costs for these (based on a percentage of legitimate work-related use).
- Mobile phone: You can claim a percentage of your mobile phone bill if you use your mobile for work-related phone calls.
- Subscriptions: Subscriptions to nursing magazines, books and journals that are used to keep your knowledge current can be claimed.
- Home office expenses: Only claimable if you are genuinely required to work from home. You can claim a percentage of costs such as internet and land-line only for the time you work from home.
- Nurses may be able to claim car expenses. In many cases, nurses are required to transport patients, travel between hospitals/medical practices during their shift, travel from a hospital to a second job (or vice versa). These trips will generally qualify as tax deductions for nurses. Keep a logbook to ensure your claim is correct and remember that travel between home and work is not claimable.
If you’ve been reimbursed, don’t claim it!
Employers often reimburse staff for costs. If this is the case for you, you can’t claim the expense as a tax deduction. Remember that legitimate ATO tax deductions for nurses only include expenses you’ve paid for yourself and where you received no reimbursement or repayment. If your employer paid, don’t claim it. The ATO is remarkably good at detecting mistakes with this and you could be penalised later.
Self-education expenses can be claimable
If you’re required to up-skill or study further for your role, these expenses can be claimed. This includes short courses (ie. first aid courses, OH&S etc.) and qualifications such as a related degree. However, if you’re studying to get a new job or a first job as a nurse, education costs are not claimable. Check out the Etax self-education expenses blog for more information.
Previously on Nurse Uncut: