Show download pdf controls
  • Common expenses P–S

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

    Parking fees and tolls

    You can claim a deduction for parking fees and tolls on work-related trips between two separate places of work.

    You may not have to get and keep written evidence for these expenses if they are small or hard to get, for example, if you pay cash in a roadside parking meter.

    You can't get a deduction for parking at or near a regular place of employment. This is a private expense.

    Phone and internet expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the phone and internet costs associated with the work-related use of your own phone or electronic devices.

    You need to keep records to show your work use if you claim more than $50 on phone and internet expenses.

    You can’t claim a deduction if your employer provides you with a phone for work and pays for the usage, or if your employer reimburses you for the costs.

    You can't claim a deduction for any phone calls to family and friends, even while travelling for work. This is because they aren't work-related calls.

    Example: calculating phone expenses

    Sebastian uses his mobile phone for work purposes. He is on a set plan of $49 each month and rarely exceeds the plan cap.

    He receives an itemised account from his phone provider each month that includes details of his individual calls.

    At least once a year, Sebastian prints his account and highlights the work-related calls he made. He makes notes on his account for the first month about who he is calling for work, such as his manager and his patients.

    Of the 300 calls he has made in a four-week period, Sebastian works out that 90 (30%) of the individual call expenses billed to him are for work. He applies that percentage to his cap amount of $49 a month.

    Sebastian calculates his calls for work purposes as follows:

    • Total work calls ÷ Total number of calls = Work use percentage for calls

    (90 ÷ 300 = 30%)

    • Sebastian can claim 30% of the total bill of $49 for each month for work purposes

    ($49 × 0.30) = $14.70

    Since Sebastian was only at work for 46 weeks of the year (10.6 months), he calculates his work-related mobile phone expense deduction as follows:

    • 10.6 months × $14.70 = $155.82
    End of example


    Example: work and private use

    Sylvette uses her computer and personal internet account at home to access her work emails and manage her appointments. Sylvette uses her computer and the internet for work and private purposes.

    Sylvette's internet use diary showed 20% of her internet time was for work-related activities and 80% was for private use. As her internet service provider charge for the year was $1,200 she can claim:

    • $1,200 × 20% = $240 as work-related internet use.
    End of example

    See also:

    Professional indemnity insurance

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of professional indemnity insurance related to your work activities.

    Repairs to tools and equipment

    You can claim a deduction for repairs to tools and equipment you use for work. If you also use them for private purposes, you can only claim the work-related portion.

    Self-education and study expenses

    You can claim a deduction for self-education and study expenses if it's directly related to your current employment as a doctor, specialist or other medical professional 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 your income from your current employment.

    You can't claim a deduction if the education is only related in a general way or designed to:

    • enable you to get employment
    • obtain new employment
    • open up a new income-earning activity.

    Self-education expenses include fees, travel expenses (for example, attending a conference interstate), transport costs, books and equipment. You usually have to reduce your self-education expenses by $250 – that is, the first $250 of expenses for self-education aren't deductible.

    Example: study directly relevant to employment

    Dennis is a general practitioner who participates in continuing professional development to maintain his medical registrations.

    Although Dennis is required to participate in continuing professional development to maintain his medical registrations, Dennis can claim a deduction for his study expenses because the continual professional development improves and maintains his skills and knowledge.

    End of example


    Example: study to improve knowledge and skills in current job

    Nadia is a dentist undertaking postgraduate study in dental surgery.

    Nadia is eligible to claim a deduction for her study expenses because her study is improving her dentistry skills. It is clearly relevant to her employment.

    End of example


    Example: study to upgrade qualifications

    Joe is a general practitioner in a rural area of Australia. Joe undertakes training in mental health disorders with a specialised focus on rural and remote Australia. The training will improve Joe's skills in educating his patients about mental health.

    Joe is eligible to claim self-education expenses because his study will upgrade his qualifications and will improve his skills in his work activities as a general practitioner.

    End of example


    Example: can't claim due to limited use in current role

    Yui is a psychologist working part-time for a private practice while studying to become a paramedic. The study will primarily provide skills for a new position, which means she will have to seek new employment.

    Yui isn't eligible and can’t claim her self-education expenses because her specialised study has only limited use in her current work and therefore lacks sufficient connection to the duties performed.

    End of example

    See also:

    Self-education and study and training support loans

    You can't claim the repayment of loans you receive to help pay for your self-education or study expenses. This includes:

    • Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loans
    • VET Student Loans (VETSL)
    • Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS)
    • Student Start-up Loan
    • Trade Support Loan Program.

    You may be able to claim a deduction for course or tuition fees where the self-education expenses are directly related to your current employment as an employee doctor, specialist or other medical professional.

    See also:

    Seminars, conferences and training courses

    You can claim for the cost of seminars and conferences and training courses that relate to your work as a doctor, specialist or other medical professional.

    Example: conference where dominant purpose is work-related

    Mary, an orthodontist, attends an eight-day work-related conference in Vancouver on modern cosmetic dentistry. One day of the conference involves a sight-seeing tour of the city, and a networking game of golf. A dinner is held on the final afternoon of the conference.

    As her main purpose in attending the conference is work-related, Mary can deduct the total cost of the conference which includes her airfares, accommodation and meals.

    End of example

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

      Last modified: 01 May 2020QC 56091