If you’re a nurse, midwife or carer it pays to learn what you can claim at tax time
To claim a deduction for work-related expenses
- you must have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed
- it must be directly related to earning your income
- you must have a record to prove it.*
* You can use the ATO app myDeductions tool to keep track of your expenses and receipts throughout the year.
You can only claim the work-related part of expenses. You can’t claim a deduction for any part of the expense that relates to personal use.
- drive between separate jobs on the same day – eg travelling from your job as a carer to a second job as a musician
- drive to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day – eg driving from your usual clinic to another clinic to work for the same employer.
There are limited circumstances where you can claim the cost of trips between home and work, such as where you carry bulky tools or equipment for work – eg, a set of baby scales. The cost of these trips is deductible only if:
- your employer requires you to transport the equipment for work
- the equipment was essential to earning your income
- there was no secure area to store the equipment at the work location, and
- the equipment is bulky – at least 20kg or cumbersome to transport.
If you claim car expenses, you need to keep a logbook to determine the work-related percentage, or be able to demonstrate to the ATO a reasonable calculation if you use the cents per kilometre method to claim.
Phone and internet expenses
You can only claim the work-related portion of the use of your personal device.
You can claim a deduction for the cost of buying, hiring, mending or cleaning certain uniforms that are unique and distinctive to your job, or protective clothing, eg non-slip nursing shoes or support stockings, that your employer requires you to wear.
You can’t claim a deduction for the cost of buying or cleaning plain clothing worn at work, even if your employer tells you to wear it, and even if you only wear it for work, eg black pants and a white shirt.
You can’t claim a deduction if your study is only related in a general way or is designed to help get you a new job, eg you can’t claim the cost of study to enable you to move from being a carer to being a registered nurse.
Other common deductible work-related expenses
- union and professional association fees
- agency commissions and agency fees, and annual practising certificate fees
- technical or professional publications.