As a nurse you might purchase items that are work-related and pay for them yourself. Many common nursing expenses that get paid out-of-pocket are also valid tax deductions for nurses.
Below we’ll cover a range of tax deductions nurses commonly claim, 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 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 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.
(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 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 that 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.
Nurses’ 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 (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, 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 and an accountant will get back to you.