Do you work in the aged care industry? If so, from time to time you probably pay for work related purchases “out of pocket”. Anytime you pay for work-related item, you need to keep careful track so you can re-claim some of that money as an aged care tax deduction. Below we’ll cover some simple but important information about tax deductions for aged care staff. Aged care tax deductions mean you’ll get back some of those purchases – and boost your tax refund.
This article covers important tax deduction that can save money for people working in jobs such as…
- Aged Care Nurse,
- Registered Nurse,
- Home Care Provider,
- Community Support Worker,
- Disability Support Worker,
- Personal Care Assistant,
- Aged Care Assistant, and
- other related positions.
Common aged care tax deductions include work-related use of your car, phone or stationery. Here’s a quick breakdown of some common tax deductions for aged care workers:
Claim the following as aged care worker tax deductions:
- Agency and membership costs. If you’re managed by an agency, or you subscribe to a professional membership in order to work, you can claim the associated costs as tax deductions. (Hold on to your receipts, documentation and invoices).
- Home phone and mobile phone: Do you use your phone(s) in order to stay in touch with your workplace? That’s common, especially if you do shift or cover work. Any calls you make on your mobile phone or landline can be claimed. Learn how to calculate your percentage of work-related phone calls then you can easily claim a portion of your phone bills on your tax return.
- Union fees.
- Laptop: Personal laptops and computers that are used for work can be ”depreciated” on your tax return, which means you get back part of the cost for several years after you purchase a computer. Give the receipts for computers and related equipment to your tax agent (or attach them right to your return at etax.com.au) and get advice on how to claim this deduction properly.
- Industry magazines, journals and subscriptions. If you buy publications directly related to your work you can to claim the full amount as an aged care tax deduction. (Examples include Aged Care Insight, Australasian Journal on Ageing, Home Care Magazine and other industry-specific publications.)
Those were just some basics! Now let’s look at some high-value tax deductions for aged care or disability support workers…
Do you use your car for work?
Aged care professionals are often required to transport or accompany patients to and from patients’ homes, hospitals and appointments. If you use your own vehicle for these purposes, it’s important to keep a car log book and claim the costs at the end of the financial year. Car use is a frequent and valuable aged care worker’s tax deduction. Remember, travel from your home to work isn’t claimable – but other work-specific trips in your car are tax deductible. Learn more about using a car logbook.
Self-education costs are tax-deductible
Aged care workers often do training to “up-skill” or maintain their roles. Every self-education expense related to your current work (and paid for by you) is a good tax deduction. Keep any receipts, documents, invoices or proof of study – that’s crucial for claiming the costs later on your tax return. Learn more about self-education claims.
Uniforms and job-specific clothing can be claimed as an aged care tax deduction
Uniforms and protective clothing are a necessity for many aged care providers. If your uniform is required and it is paid for by you, these costs are tax deductible. In order to be eligible for an ATO aged care tax deduction, your uniform must have an official logo on it from your place of work.
Washing and laundry expenses can also be claimed. You can claim a basic amount without receipts, but if you frequently have laundry expenses like dry cleaning for your aged care job uniforms, keep the receipts in a folder and you can claim them later as tax deductions.
Skip any item that you were reimbursed for
There’s no getting around this: Only claim an aged care tax deduction if you paid for it yourself. These items cannot be claimed on your tax return:
- Your client or employer arranged payment,
- The client or employer reimbursed you later,
- You received a payment or allowance to cover the expenses,
- The expense was covered by an allowance or other payment shown on your PAYG statement, or
- You have no receipts or proof about the expense.
In those cases, don’t claim those items on your tax return. It’s not worth the trouble of having the ATO amend your refund later on. The ATO is not ‘casual’ about over-claimed deductions.
You can see why keeping an annual folder for work-related receipts is important!
By storing receipts in a folder year-round, many aged care workers can claim plenty of valuable aged care tax deductions. And that means bigger tax refunds in July!