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  • Common expenses A–F

    Details on claiming common doctor, specialist or other medical professional expenses for:

    AMA or other medical professional association membership fees

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of purchasing a membership with the Australian Medical Association (AMA) or other medical professional associations.

    If the amount you paid is shown on your income statement or payment summary, you can use it to prove your claim.

    See also:

    Annual practising certificate fees

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of renewing your annual practising certificate.

    Example: ongoing expense

    Brenden needs an annual practicing certificate to work as a doctor. He can claim a deduction for the cost of renewing his practising certificate each year as he incurs the expense in earning his employment income.

    End of example

    Car expenses

    You can't claim a deduction for the normal trips between your home and work, even if you live a long way from your usual workplace or have to work outside normal business hours (for example, weekend or early morning shifts). These are private expenses.

    In limited circumstances you can claim the cost of trips between home and work, such as where you carry bulky tools or equipment for work. You can claim a deduction for the cost of these trips if all of the following conditions are met:

    • the tools or equipment are essential for the performance of your employment duties
    • the equipment is bulky, meaning that because of its size or weight it is awkward to transport and can only be transported conveniently by motor vehicle
    • there is no secure storage for such items at the workplace.

    It will not be sufficient if you transport the tools or equipment merely as a matter of choice. For example, if your employer provides reasonably secure storage, your decision to transport items home will be a matter of choice.

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of using a car you own, lease or hire (under a hire-purchase agreement) when you drive:

    • between separate jobs on the same day – for example, travelling from the medical practice to your second job as a university lecturer
    • to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day – for example, on your way into the hospital you stop off at a retirement home to complete your morning rounds.

    To claim a deduction you must keep records of your car use. You can choose between the cents per kilometre method or the logbook method to calculate your deduction.

    If you use the logbook method, you need to keep a valid logbook to help you determine the percentage of work-related use along with evidence of your car expenses.

    If you use the cents per kilometre method, you need to provide a calculation of your work-related kilometres. You must be able to show that the kilometres travelled were work-related.

    The Work-related car expenses calculator helps calculate the amount you can claim as a deduction for car expenses.

    If you own a motorcycle, or a vehicle with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more, or nine passengers or more you can deduct the actual expenses related to your work travel.

    See also:

    Child care

    You can't claim a deduction for child care when you're working. It's a private expense.

    Clothing expenses (including footwear)

    You can claim a deduction for the cost you incur when you buy, hire, repair or replace clothing, uniforms and footwear you wear at work if it's:

    • protective
    • occupation specific (and not a conventional, everyday piece of clothing)
    • a compulsory uniform that identifies you as an employee of an organisation with a strictly enforced policy that makes it compulsory for you to wear the uniform while you're at work
    • a non-compulsory uniform, if your employer has registered the design with AusIndustry.

    Clothing in a specific colour or brand isn't enough to classify it as a uniform. For example, a shirt with the corporate logo on it that your employer strictly requires you to wear when you work is a compulsory uniform, so you can claim a deduction for buying and repairing it.

    You can claim clothing and footwear that you wear to protect yourself from the risk of illness or injury posed by your income-earning activities or the environment in which you carry them out. To be considered protective, the items must provide a sufficient degree of protection against that risk, for example, non-slip shoes.

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of buying plain clothing, such as black trousers, plain shirts or black shoes worn at work, even if:

    • you only wear it to work
    • your employer tells you to wear it.

    You can't claim a deduction if your employer buys, repairs or replaces your clothing.

    Example: compulsory uniform with logo

    Mike has to buy and wear shirts with his employer's company logo embroidered on it. As part of his uniform, he also has to wear black pants and black non-slip shoes.

    Mike can claim a deduction for the cost of buying and laundering the shirts as they are:

    • distinctive items with the employer's logo
    • compulsory for him to wear at work.

    Mike can also claim a deduction for the cost of his non-slip shoes as they are required for his safety and protection from slipping over while working.

    However, he can't claim the cost of purchasing or cleaning his black pants as they are items of a conventional nature.

    End of example

    See also:

    Driver's licence

    You can't claim a deduction for obtaining or renewing your driver's licence, even if you must have it as a condition of employment. This is a private expense.

    Entertainment and social functions

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of any entertainment. This includes the cost of business lunches and attendance at sporting events, gala or social nights, concerts or other similar types of functions or events. This applies even if you discuss business matters at the occasion.

    Example: entertainment costs

    Rachael attends a social breakfast organised by the AMA. These breakfasts are held every other month to encourage medical professionals to meet socially with colleagues. Rachael isn't entitled to a deduction for the cost of attending the breakfast.

    End of example

    Fines

    You can't claim a deduction for any fines you get when you work. Fines may include parking and speeding fines.

    First aid courses

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of first aid training courses if you, as a designated first aid person, are required to undertake first aid training to assist in emergency work situations.

    You can't claim a deduction if your employer pays for or reimburses you for the cost of the course.

    For more doctor, specialist or other medical professionals' expenses, see:

      Last modified: 01 May 2020QC 56091