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  • Common expenses A–F

    Details on claiming common nurse, midwife and direct carer expenses for:

    Agency commissions and agency fees

    You can claim a deduction for commission payments you made to a nursing agency.

    You can't claim a deduction if your employer has paid the commission payment, or for upfront fees, joining fees or search fees paid to a nursing agency.

    Annual practising certificate fees

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

    Example: ongoing expense

    Breanna needs an annual practicing certificate to work as a nurse. She can claim a deduction for the cost of renewing this each year. She incurs the expense in gaining her employment income.

    She can't claim the initial cost of getting his annual practicing certificate, even if it is a condition of employment to have it. This is because the cost is incurred to enable to start employment, not during the course of employment.

    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 if 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 your nursing job to a second job as a barista
    • to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day – for example, driving to another hospital or medical facility for a meeting.

    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 and your employer has registered the design with AusIndustry

    Clothing in a specific colour or brand isn't enough to classify clothing 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. 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

    Sue is an aged care registered nurse. She is required to wear, as part of her uniform, either a blouse or polo shirt with her employer's logo embroidered on it. She is also required to wear black trousers and flat, non-slip black shoes.

    Sue can claim a deduction for buying and cleaning the shirts as they are:

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

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

    Sue can't claim the cost of buying or cleaning her 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 getting or renewing your driver's licence, even if you must have it as a condition of employment. This is a private expense.


    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 nurses, midwifes and direct carer expenses, see:

      Last modified: 04 May 2020QC 20811