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.
Below, we’ve covered a range of tax tips and tax deductions all nurses should read to boost your refund.
What can nurses claim on tax?
While each person 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.
- Membership and nursing union fees: If you pay a membership fee to a nursing industry body or if you pay to be part of 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, logbooks, workbooks etc.
- Computer/Laptop: If you need 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. It’s best to contact a tax agent like Etax to work this out.
- 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 landline if you have to work from home.
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 Etax return. An accountant will get back to you.
Client Case Study: Annette Smith – Registered Nurse (RN)
Annette is a Registered Nurse from Brisbane and she’s been using Etax for the past few years. We got in touch with Annette to discuss why she uses Etax…
How did you do your tax return before Etax?
As a nurse, I work long hours and therefore I want doing my tax return to be as convenient and easy as possible.
I used to do my tax on the ATO MyGov app, which took much more of my time and was quite confusing, as I was made to answer a lot of questions that were irrelevant to me.
Then I came across Etax which was so much better.
Talk us through how you do your return with Etax?
As soon as I start the return, Etax auto-fills it for me with my income for the year. This cut down the time it took to finish my return as I didn’t have to worry about things that weren’t relevant to me.
At the deductions section Etax gave me personalised deduction suggestions based on my occupation as a Nurse allowing me to skip the items that I didn’t need.
Has Etax saved you money or improved your refund?
Yes, because an accountant reviews my return they make suggestions about how I could improve my refund. Because of this, I found out I was able to claim travel expenses for a work conference I attended, which gave me a nice little top-up on my refund! The accountant reviewing my return and coming back to me with suggestions gives me peace of mind knowing I haven’t missed anything.
Why will you keep coming back to Etax?
I love that I can finish my tax in my own home, in my own time but I still get the benefit of communicating with a qualified accountant and knowing that my tax return is being handled by professionals.
I would recommend Etax to anyone who wants an easy, convenient tax return for the right price.”
Download Top Tax Tips for Nurses and Midwives
To help jog your memory and collect all the right documents and details for tax time, we’ve created a helpful tax checklist and top tax tips that are personalised for nurses and midwives.