🤷🏼♂️ What Nurses Can Claim in Tax at the End of the Financial Year.
We would all love to earn a bit more money. Tax time is your chance to get that little more back in your pocket. For you to maximise the amount you get back into your bank account, you need to know what you can claim when completing your tax return at the end of the financial year.
Every year since I started nursing, I have helped, discussed, and guided individuals at tax time with their work-related expenses, ultimately ensuring they get their hard-earned money back in their pocket. Nurses can claim a number of expenses at tax time each year. There are also some things you can do to help reduce your net income as a nurse. To get us started, check out this list below.
Here is a list of common tax deductions for nurses:
- Overtime Meals
- Travel expenses
- Personal car usage
- Overnight accommodation costs
- Uniforms and protective clothing
- Repair and cleaning of uniforms and protective clothing.
- Safety items: gloves, non-slip nursing shoes, safety glasses, lab coats, aprons, stockings, and vests.
- Training and self-education course fees
- Equipment and expenses related to training courses
- Purchase and repair costs of work-related equipment
- Books and journals
- Work-related phone and internet expenses
- Logbook for travel expenses
- Briefcase or work bag
- Fob watch
- Union fees
- Professional memberships and subscriptions
- The annual certification fee
- Agency commissions and fees
You can claim the work-related portion of other expenses that relate to your employment, including:
- Union and professional association fees.
- Agency commissions and agency fees, and annual practising certificate fees
- Technical or professional publications.
- Tools and equipment, such as a stethoscope or a pin watch.
- PPE mentioned below and more!
Want to learn more about nursing and your end-of-year tax?
🤓 Read ON!
💡 Start to think about what you are going to add to your expenses and claims list.
⭐️ Golden rules
Follow these three golden rules to make sure you get your work-related expense claims right.
- You must have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed.
- The claim must directly relate to earning your income.
- You must have a record to prove it.
✔️ What Nurses CAN CLAIM
👉🏼 To claim a deduction for work‑related expenses:
You must have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed.
It must directly relate to earning your income.
You must have a record to prove it.
🚀 Tax tips for nurses and health professionals:
- Keep records
- Save ALL of your receipts, whether you think it’s an expense or not! You could claim it.
That means no special apps, nothing special. On the iPhone, you can literally open files, tap + hold and scan a document. Done. Save these to a folder on your phone, or even better, connect your scans to a folder within your cloud storage and access your receipts wherever you are with whatever device you have with you.
🔥 Expenses and Deductions for Nurses 👇🏼
👨⚕️ Nursing Registration Fees
I highly encourage you to claim your annual nursing registration fees. For example, your AHPRA fees, which we all pay each year to practice as nurses, Just keep the email receipt as proof of payment, and at the end of the year, claim it.
Examples include seminars, conferences, training courses, and tertiary studies.
You can claim self-education and study expenses if your course relates directly to your employment as a nurse or midwife and it:
- maintains or improves the skills and knowledge you need for your current duties.
- results in or is likely to result in an increase in income from your current employment.
📚 Journals, books, periodicals, magazine subscriptions, and professional affiliations
If you are a member of a professional group, subscribe to an educational piece or author or series, and then ensure you claim it!
I am a member of the OTA (Operating Theatre Association). I claim my membership and the annual conference I attend for it annually.
👨🏼💻 Applications and Software
Do you use an app or software specifically for your work? Maybe it’s a rostering app, a medication resource, or a patient safety tool. Either way, you can claim that too!
I have claimed a number of apps and software over the years related to my profession and specific job role.
📱Phone and Internet
You can claim phone, data, and internet costs apportioned for private and work use, with records showing your work‑related use. You can’t claim phone, data, and internet use if you only use your phone to communicate with your manager about your shifts or use the internet to check payslips, rosters, or income statements. These are standard requirements for all employees. However, if they are used primarily to perform your job role, you can claim them. For example, an educator who uses their personal phone to access work emails and perform work-related tasks can claim a percentage of their phone bill.
👕 Clothing and Uniforms
You can claim the cost of buying, hiring, repairing, or cleaning clothing if it is considered:
- Protective – clothing that has protective features and functions that you wear protects you from specific risks of injury or illness at work. For example, nonslip nursing shoes or scrubs.
- A compulsory uniform – clothing you are explicitly required to wear by a workplace agreement or policy, which is strictly and consistently enforced and is sufficiently distinctive to your organisation.
🚙 Car Expenses & Travelling
This one can get a little grey and will likely need clarification from your accountant or the person looking after your tax return. In simple terms, you can claim a deduction when you drive between separate jobs on the same day.
You can claim:
- The cost of trips between home and work if you have been shifting places of employment.
- The cost of using a car you own when you drive it.
For instance, going straight from your first job as a nurse to your second job as a university lecturer on the same day.
Travelling between locations, to and from a different place of employment for the same employer on the same day, such as between clinics for the same employer.
You cannot claim:
- The cost of trips between home and work (regardless of the distance travelled or shift time/date).
How to claim and log evidence
To claim car expenses, you can use the logbook method or the cents per kilometre method.
There are a few notes on the ATO website which talk about using your own car to drive heavy tools and equipment where there is no safe storage available. If you think you fall into this group, I’d suggest seeking further advice. If you’re thinking about it, you can’t claim a deduction for getting or renewing your driver’s licence, even if you must have it for your job. This is a private expense.
😎 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Personal protective equipment you buy, such as safety glasses, footwear, masks, or anything you need to perform your role.
I wear SafeStyle Eyewear as my safety glasses, which you can also get in a pair with your prescription! I love them due to their square and finished design and also the blue light lenses helping with my headaches! I even use these as sunglasses or for when I am working outside. They are perfect for every occasion, and I can claim them for free. Check them out by CLICKING THIS LINK. If you like them and want a pair, use code: ANE10 to enjoy a 10% discount.
🍱 Meals for Overtime
This one is a bit confusing. According to the ATO, “you can’t claim a deduction if your overtime meal allowance is rolled into your salary/wages and not included as a separate allowance on your income statement or payment summary.”
If you want to claim a deduction for an overtime meal, I recommend keeping your receipts. However, the ATO sets an amount each year that you can claim for overtime meals without receipts if it was a “reasonable amount.” So if you’re asked to do overtime, don’t go hungry. Go buy a meal—just keep the receipt.
💸 Union Fees
Whilst you can absolutely claim your annual union fee, don’t forget to jump onto their website and see what other freebies and discount codes are on offer for you to benefit from.
I claim my fees, every time.
Do you have a bag for work? Maybe a laptop sleeve, cover, or bag? All of these are work-related expenses and you can claim them.
I have two work bags. One for when I am primarily doing education work and another for when I am working clinically. I love leather, so they are nice bags. 😆
You can claim your favourite pen! All of those office items you use in your job, can be claimed as an expense.
According to the ATO, “as long as the expense relates to your employment, you can claim a deduction for the work-related portion of the cost of stationery”.
I am one of those crazy people who loves certain pens and perform better using certain pens. So I purchase my own and claim them on tax.
Do you wear a fob watch or another type of wristwatch with special features that help you in your nursing role? The cost of these items may be deductible. This includes battery replacements, repairs, and watchbands.
As a small catch, the ATO says, “If the watch cost more than $300, you can only claim a deduction for a loss in value (depreciation).” Sorry to the Apple Watch fans…
🩺 Tools and Equipment
Do you need tools and equipment specific for your job and they are not provided to you by your employer? Equipment including stethoscopes, trauma shears, utility pouches and tool holders and securements are all items you can claim for.
I claim for my stethoscope, my shears, pen lights, theatre caps and my scrubs!
🪛 Repairs to tools and equipment
Do you use a stethoscope, trauma shears, an apron or a pen at work? If these items break, you can claim the cost of getting them fixed or getting them replaced.
🙋🏼♂️ Special Circumstances
The ATO does make mention of potential allowances “for work that may be unpleasant, special, or dangerous.” Speak with a tax agent if you believe this is you in nursing.
🚫 Cannot Claim
- Private expenses such as music subscriptions, childcare, fines, flu shots, and other vaccinations, even if you’re required to have them for work.
- You can’t claim a deduction if the cost was met or reimbursed by your employer.
🤓 Resources For You
Here are a couple of resources that may help you.
I believe having a good tax accountant is important. Mine taught me a lot about my taxes as I transitioned professions, workplaces, and different roles. The same accountant now helps me with it all, including business and more!
For years, I have witnessed others doing it themselves to save money and try and complete their tax online themselves.
Yet, they often pay up to $100 to do it themselves and get a fraction of the money back compared to what they could have received back! For literally a couple of dollars more, you can get a professional who will do the entire process for you and teach you along the way!
A very valuable asset to have!
Thank you for reading!
I hope you enjoyed this blog.
Have you done your tax for this year yet?
Did you claim something new related to your nursing role?
Let me know 👇🏼
Thank you so much Rory for this information about tax.. As I now have my first job and transitioning hopefully into an RN next year this is so helpful to know. 🙂
😃 Hey Kirsty!
No problem at all! Glad you have found it helpful! All the best with the journey to next year!
Such an exciting time for you 🙃😊