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  • Common expenses T-W

    Details on claiming common nurse, midwife and direct carer 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 nurse, midwife or direct carer.

    Tools and equipment

    You can claim a deduction for tools and equipment if you use them to perform your duties as a nurse, midwife or direct carer.

    If a tool or item of equipment cost you $300 or less, and you use it for work only, 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.

    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.

    You can't claim a deduction for accommodation where you haven't incurred any accommodation expenses, because you sleep in accommodation provided by your employer.

    If you spent and are claiming a deduction up to the reasonable amount for meals we have set (on a meal by meal basis), you don't have to get and keep receipts.

    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.

    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 travel was directly related to earning your employment income
    • how you calculated your claim.

    See also:

    Union and professional association fees

    You can claim a deduction for union and professional association fees you pay. If the amount you paid is shown on your payment summary or income statement, you can use it to prove your claim.

    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 that you use for work or if you have a fob watch or stopwatch, you can claim a deduction. If the watch cost more than $300, you can only 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 working as a nurse, midwife or direct carer.

    Running expenses include:

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

    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 will 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.

    See also:

    For more nurses, midwifes and direct carers' expenses, see:

    Find out about nurses, midwifes and direct carers':

    Record keeping

    You need to get and keep records of your expenses for which you want to claim deductions. This is usually a receipt but can be another form of written evidence (such as an invoice).

    Records can be electronic (for example, you can take a photo of your receipt, or use an app). The ATO app's my Deductions tool, can help you to keep track of your work-related expenses. It’s an easy way to capture information on-the-go, making tax time quicker by uploading your deductions to your tax return.

    Records must show what you purchased, when, where, and how much you spent. They must be in English.

    There are a few exceptions to this rule:

    Small expense receipts

    You don’t have to get and keep a receipt for work-related expenses that are $10 or less, as long as your total claim for small expenses is $200 or less.

    If you don’t get a receipt for small expenses you can still claim a deduction as long as you make a record of the small expenses. For example, you can make a record by writing in your diary.

    Your record should show what you purchased, when, where, and how much you spent. It must be in English. You can use this to show how you calculated your deduction if we request this information from you.

    Hard to get receipts

    If you can’t get a receipt for a work-related expense, you can still claim a deduction as long as you make a record. For example, you can make a record by writing in your diary.

    Your record should show what you purchased, when, where, and how much you spent. It must be in English. You can use this to show how you calculated your deduction if we request this information from you.

    Overtime meal expense receipts

    You can claim a deduction for your overtime meal expenses (food and drink) without keeping all your receipts if you:

    • undertake overtime
    • receive an overtime meal allowance paid under an industrial award
    • spent money on meals (food and drink) you consumed during your overtime meal break
    • are not claiming more than the reasonable amount we set – see, Nurses, midwives and direct carers' Overtime meal expenses.

    Even if you aren't required to get and keep receipts for your overtime meal expenses, we may check your tax return and ask you to show how you calculated your claim. If we ask, you'll need to provide documentation showing:

    • when you did overtime
    • you purchased a meal
    • you correctly declared the overtime meal allowance as income in your tax return.

    If you don’t receive an overtime meal allowance paid under an industrial award, or are claiming a deduction for more than the reasonable amount, you need to get and keep your receipts for your overtime meal expenses.

    You claim what you actually spent, not the reasonable amount.

    See also:

    • Overtime meals
    • TD 2018/11 Income tax: what are the reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance expense amounts for the 2018-19 income year?

    Travel and meal expense receipts

    You can claim a deduction for your meal expenses (food and drink) without keeping all your receipts if you:

    • receive a travel/meal allowance that is expected to cover your meal expenses when travelling (a token amount you receive as a travel allowance isn't accepted as covering such costs)
    • are required to travel for work, for example, when you take your mandatory long rest break and sleep away from home overnight
    • spent money on meals (food and drink) while travelling for work
    • are not claiming more than the reasonable amount set – see, Nurses, midwives and direct carers' Travel expenses.

    Even if you aren't required to get and keep receipts for your meals when travelling for work, we may check your tax return and ask you to show how you calculated your claim. If we ask, you'll need to provide documentation showing:

    • when you were travelling for work (including start and finish times)
    • you purchased meals and the cost of those meals
    • you correctly declared the travel/meal allowance as income in your tax return.

    If you travel the same route regularly, and have a regular pattern of expenditure, we'll accept written evidence for a three-month representative period.

    If you didn’t get a travel or meal allowance, or are claiming more than the reasonable amount per meal when travelling, you need to maintain and keep all of your records including:

    • payment summary, income statement or payslips to show the travel allowances you received
    • a work diary, or documentation that shows the days you travelled for work, including
      • start and finish times
      • where you travelled
      • when you stopped for meals
       
    • all receipts, invoices or documentation for meals showing the
      • name of the supplier
      • amount you spent
      • nature of the good or service
      • date you spent the money
      • creation date of the receipt or other written evidence
       
    • written evidence, such as a bank statement, to show that you were the one who spent the money.

    You claim what you actually spent, not the reasonable amount.

    See also:

    Find out about nurses, midwives and direct carers':

      Last modified: 15 Jul 2019QC 20811