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  • Common expenses P-S

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

    Phone and internet expenses

    You can claim the work-related portion of your phone and internet costs if your employer requires you to use your own phone or electronic device.

    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 you're travelling for work. This is because they aren't work-related calls.

    See also:

    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 expenses

    You can claim a deduction for self-education expenses if it's directly related to your current employment as a nurse, midwife or direct carer 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

    Ahmed is a trainee nurse undertaking his Bachelor of Nursing as part of his traineeship.

    Ahmed is eligible to claim a deduction for his study expenses because his study is improving his nursing skills and is clearly relevant to his employment.

    End of example 

    Example: study to improve knowledge and skills in current job

    Carmel is a registered nurse working in a rural hospital and currently studying to specialise in paediatrics.

    Carmel is eligible to claim her self-education expenses for this course because her studies will maintain and improve the skills and knowledge she needs to perform her current duties (which include caring for children).

    End of example 

    Example: claim a reasonable proportion of study

    Kenny is employed as a carer. He is studying a Bachelor of Nursing so he can become a registered or qualified nurse. Kenny’s employer asks him to use the skills and knowledge he gained from his study in his job as a carer by dispensing medication once he has his medication administration endorsement.

    Kenny is eligible to claim a deduction for a reasonable proportion of his study expenses insofar as they relate to his attaining his medication administration endorsement as his studies increase or improve the skills he needs to do his current work.

    End of example 

    Example: study to upgrade qualifications

    John is a registered nurse working in a hospital and currently studying to specialise in intensive care nursing. The demand for specialists is high and John can expect to pick up a specialist role shortly after completing his studies.

    John is eligible to claim self-education expenses because his study will upgrade his qualifications and is likely to lead to increased income.

    End of example 

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

    Ling is a registered nurse working in an aged care facility while studying to become a specialist nurse in midwifery. The study will primarily provide skills for a new position, which means she'll have to seek new employment.

    Ling 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 

    Example: study isn't relevant to current duties

    Claire is a personal carer working in a nursing home. Her duties include giving personal care to residents, assisting with daily living activities and reporting to a registered nurse about the patients. She doesn't take temperatures, blood pressure or administer medications. Claire decides to complete a Bachelor of Nursing to become employed as a registered nurse, which will involve different duties.

    Claire isn't eligible to claim a deduction for her self-education expenses because the course isn't relevant to her duties.

    End of example 

    Example: working in an unrelated field

    Tommy is a part time nursing student who was supporting himself by driving taxis. Having completed sufficient modules to be able to work as an enrolled nurse Tommy applies for a job as an enrolled nurse and is successful.

    Tommy isn't eligible to claim the nursing study expenses he incurred while earning income as a taxi driver. This includes course fees he paid before he started working as a nurse, even if the fees covered modules that he hasn't yet completed. However, now he's working as an enrolled nurse, Tommy is eligible to claim his nursing self-education expenses incurred after he commenced working as an enrolled nurse.

    End of example 

    Example: working to support study rather than studying to increase skills

    Duong is employed on a casual basis as a carer through a nursing agency to support himself whilst studying for a Bachelor of Nursing. Once he has his degree, Duong will be able to work as a registered nurse.

    Duong isn't eligible to claim his study expenses as a tax deduction because he was working to support his study rather than studying to increase his skills, knowledge or income from his work activities as a casual carer.

    End of example 

    Example: receiving Austudy payments

    Michelle starts a full time Diploma of Nursing through her local TAFE. As she has two young children, she applies for and receives Austudy payment from Centrelink rather than finding employment to support herself while studying.

    Michelle isn't eligible to claim a deduction for her self-education expenses as she received Austudy payments to support her while studying and the study wasn't connected to any work duties.

    End of example

    Seminars, conferences and training courses

    You can claim for the cost of seminars and conferences that relate to your work as a nurse, midwife or direct carer.

    Stationery

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of logbooks, diaries and pens that you use for work.

    You can't claim a deduction if your employer reimburses you for these expenses.

    For more nurses, midwifes and direct carer expenses, see:

      Last modified: 15 Jul 2019QC 20811