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  • Common expenses T–W

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

    Technical or professional publications

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of journals, periodicals and magazines that have content sufficiently connected to your employment as a doctor, specialist or other medical professional.

    Tools and equipment

    You can claim a deduction for tools and equipment if you use them to perform your duties as a doctor, specialist or other medical professional.

    If a tool or item of equipment cost you $300 or less, and you only use it for work, you can claim a deduction for the whole cost in the year you purchased it. Otherwise, you can claim a deduction for the cost over the life of the item (that is; depreciation).

    If the item is part of a set that together cost more than $300, you can claim a deduction for the set over the life of the asset.

    If you also use the tool or item of equipment for private purposes, you can only claim the work-related portion.

    If you bought the tool or item of equipment part way through the year, you can only claim a deduction for the portion of the year that you owned it.

    You can also claim a deduction for the cost of repairs to tools and equipment.

    You can't claim a deduction for tools and equipment that are supplied by your employer or another person.

    Example: equipment for work-related use

    Adam is a psychologist in a rehabilitation centre. Adam's job requires him to complete his case reports at home.

    Adam carries his work laptop and patient documents between his office and his home to complete the case reports. He purchased a briefcase with laptop compartment to carrying his laptop and documents for $275. Adam only uses the briefcase to transport work items.

    As Adam's briefcase is suitable to carry all the items necessary for him to transport, he can claim a deduction for the whole cost of the bag.

    End of example

    See also:

    Travel expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the costs you incur on accommodation, meals and incidentals when you travel for work and sleep away from your home overnight in the course of performing your employment duties.

    You can't claim a deduction for accommodation where you have not incurred any accommodation expenses, because you:

    • sleep in accommodation provided by your employer
    • are reimbursed for any costs by your employer.

    Receiving an allowance from your employer doesn't automatically entitle you to a deduction. In all cases, you need to be able to show:

    • you were away overnight
    • you spent the money
    • the allowance was included in your assessable income
    • the travel was directly related to earning your employment income
    • how you calculated your claim.

    Each year, we set a reasonable amount for travel expenses. Generally, you are required to get and keep written evidence, such as receipts, when you claim a deduction for travel expenses. However, if you spent and are claiming:

    • a deduction up to the reasonable amount, you don't have to get and keep receipts
    • more than the reasonable amount, you must get and keep receipts for all your expenses.

    Example: dual purpose

    Megan is a general practitioner based in the outer suburbs of Sydney. The practice she works in provides support to a rural practice in Menindee allowing the practitioner based in this location time off. Her employer requires each practitioner in the practice to take this position at some time during their employment.

    Megan flies to Menindee for a 14-day locum position to fill this role. Her employer pays her a travel allowance.

    Megan can claim a deduction for the expenses she incurs such as airfares, accommodation and meals.

    Megan stays over for an extra five days to do some sightseeing in the NSW outback on each trip. As the sightseeing isn't work-related, Megan can only claim the work-related portion of the airfares (14 days) and the accommodation and meals for the 14 days she attends work at the local practice. Megan can't claim the cost of accommodation and meals for the five days of private travel.

    End of example

    See also:

    Watches and timepieces

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of purchasing and repairing an ordinary wristwatch, including waterproof watches. However, if your watch has special characteristics which you use for work or if you have a fob watch or stopwatch, you can claim a deduction for a decline in value (depreciation).

    You can claim deductions for the cost of repairs, batteries and watchbands for special watches but your claim must be apportioned between private and work-related use.

    Working from home

    You can claim a deduction for the additional running expenses of an office or a study at home that you use to earn your income as a doctor, specialist or other medical professional.

    Running expenses include:

    • decline in value of home office equipment
    • the cost of repairs to your home office furniture and fittings
    • heating, cooling, lighting and cleaning expenses.

    If you are working from home as a result of COVID-19, we have specific information about expenses – see Working from home during COVID-19.

    You can’t claim occupancy expenses, such as rent, rates, mortgage interest and house insurance premiums.

    In limited circumstances, you may be able to claim a deduction if your home office is considered to be a 'place of business'. If your only income is paid to you as an employee, you aren't considered to be carrying on a business.

    Diary records noting the time the home office was used for work are acceptable evidence of a connection between the use of a home office and your work. You'll need to keep diary records during a representative four-week period.

    The Home office expenses calculator helps calculate the amount you can claim as a deduction for home office expenses.

    Example: home office running expenses

    Gerri works for a small medical practice and often reviews client files and completes administrative tasks at home. She uses her laptop to complete these tasks in a room of her house that she has dedicated as her home office.

    Gerri can claim the work-related portion of her actual running costs, such as, heating, cooling, lighting stationery and the decline in value of her office equipment. She keeps a record of these costs and the hours of work at home in a diary over the financial year.

    Gerri uses her diary notes to show that she works at home for eight hours a week for 40 weeks of the year. To work out her deduction for running costs Gerri uses the fixed rate of 52 cents.

    She works out her claim as $0.52 × 8 × 40 = $166.40.

    Gerri can claim a deduction for home office running expenses of $166.40.

    End of example

    See also:

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

    Find out about medical professionals':

      Last modified: 01 May 2020QC 56091