As a nurse, midwife or health professional, it’s common to purchase work-related items and pay for them yourself. And these out-of-pocket expenses are often valid tax deductions for nurses, and claimable on your next tax return.
We’ve covered a range of tax tips and tax deductions all nurses should read to boost your refund.
Common tax deductions for nurses and midwives
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.
- 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: Health professionals often have specific clothing required for their job and often incur work uniform expenses. 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 items (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 used to keep your knowledge current are claimable.
- Home office expenses: You can claim a percentage of costs such as internet and land-line if you have to work from home.
(Note: If you need an easy way to keep track of your receipts and expenses, check out the Etax Mobile App where you can snap a photo of documents and record expenses on the go. Then at tax time, they’ll be ready for you to enter straight into your return and you won’t forget any bits.)
Nurses and midwives 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)
Therefore, 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. And if this is the case for you, you can’t claim the expense as a tax deduction. Remember, legitimate ATO tax deductions for nurses only include expenses you’ve paid for yourself where you haven’t received a reimbursement. If your employer paid, don’t claim it. Especially because the ATO is remarkably good at detecting mistakes with this and you could be penalised later.
Nurses’ self-education expenses can be claimable
Self-education expenses are common, especially when you’re studying further for your role. This includes short courses (i.e. 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 or midwife, education costs are not claimable. Check out our self-education expenses blog for more information.
If you’re not sure whether your expenses qualify as tax deductions, get in touch with us on [email protected] or ask a question in “My Messages” in your return. An accountant will get back to you.
Download a Tax Checklist for Nurses
To help jog your memory and collect all the right documents and details for tax time, we’ve created a helpful tax checklist that’s personalised for nurses.