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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; decline in value).

    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: medical equipment deductible

    Jian is a midwife. At work she needs access to items such as a stethoscope, sphygmomanometer, nurses' fob watch, nurses' pouch, fetal stethoscope, safety glasses, measuring tape, surgical scissors and artery forceps. Jian buys a midwifery nurses kit at a cost of $120 containing all of the items above for use at work. She only uses the kit at work.

    As the kit cost less than $300 and Jian only uses the kit at work, she can claim an immediate deduction for it of $120.

    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 if 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 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.

    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.

    Example: specialty watch deductible

    Alastair is employed as a nurse. When he started working in a hospital he bought a nurses' fob watch for $150 that he only wears during work hours. Alastair can't wear a normal wrist watch for hygiene reasons. Alastair can claim a deduction for the expense.

    End of example

    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

    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 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':

      Last modified: 04 May 2020QC 20811