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  • Common expenses P–S

    Details on claiming common paramedic expenses for:

    Parking fees and tolls

    You can't claim a deduction for parking at or near a regular place of work. You also can't claim a deduction for tolls you incur for trips between your home and work. This is a private expense.

    You can claim a deduction for parking fees and tolls you incur on work-related trips.

    Example: parking fees

    Trevor drives his own car to work each day and parks in the secure parking centre next to the ambulance station where he works.

    Once a month, Trevor drives his car to a training facility to complete mandatory training he requires for his role as paramedic. He pays for parking and isn't reimbursed by his employer.

    Trevor can't claim the cost he incurs parking at his regular place of work. However, he is able to claim his parking at the training facility as he incurs this cost on a work-related trip.

    End of example

    Phone, data and internet expenses

    You can claim a deduction for phone, data and internet costs for the work-related use of your own phone or electronic devices.

    If your phone, data and internet use for work is incidental and you're not claiming more than $50 in total, you do not need to keep records.

    If you claim more than $50, you need to keep records to show your work use. For example, an itemised bill where you can identify your work-related calls and data use.

    You can’t claim a deduction if your employer:

    • provides you with a phone for work and pays for your usage
    • reimburses you for the costs you incur.

    You can’t claim a deduction for any phone calls to family and friends, even while travelling for work. This is because these are personal calls.

    Example: calculating phone expenses

    George uses his mobile phone for work purposes (mostly outgoing calls). He's on a set plan of $49 each month and rarely exceeds the plan cap.

    He receives an itemised account from his provider monthly, which includes details of the individual calls he has made. At least once a year, George prints his phone accounts and highlights his work-related calls. He also notes on the account who he has called.

    At the end of the income year, George works out that 15% of his call costs are work-related. George worked for 46 weeks (10.6 months) of that year, so he calculates his work-related mobile phone expense deduction as follows:

    Total work calls ÷ total number of calls = work use percentage for calls

    (45 ÷ 300 = 10%)

    George can claim 10% of the total bill of $49 for each month for work purposes:

    $49 x 0.10 = $4.90

    George calculates his total deduction claim as:

    10.6 months × $49 × 0.15 = $78

    End of example


    Example: work and private use

    Suni uses her computer and personal internet account at home to access her workplace portal. She reads emails from management about changes and updates in the workplace and manages her shift availability. Suni uses her computer and the internet for both work and private purposes.

    Suni's internet use diary showed 10% of her internet time was for work-related activities and 90% was for private use. As her internet service provider charge for the year was $1,200 she can claim:

    $1,200 × 10% = $120 as work-related internet use.

    If there was anyone else that accesses the internet connection, Suni will need to reduce her claim to account for their use

    End of example

    See also:

    Removal and relocation expenses

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost to transfer or relocate to a new work location. This is the case whether the move is a condition of your existing job or you are taking up a new job.

    Example: relocation due to transfer

    Caitlyn is a paramedic in Sydney. She is temporarily transferred to a paramedic position in Newcastle for two years by her employer.

    Caitlyn can't claim a deduction for her relocation costs, rent or other living expenses.

    End of example

    See also:

    Repairs to tools and equipment

    You can claim a deduction for repairs to tools and equipment you use for work – for example, your stethoscope. If you also use them for private purposes, you can only claim an amount for your work-related use.

    Self-education and study expenses

    You can claim a deduction for self-education and study expenses if it directly relates to your current employment as a paramedic and it:

    • maintains or improves the skills and knowledge you need for your current duties – for example, training on a new cannulation procedure or formal education courses provided by your professional association
    • 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 self-education or study course:

    • doesn't have a connection with your current employment
    • only relates in a general way to your current employment
    • enables you to get employment or change employment.

    If your self-education and study expenses are deductible, you can claim expenses such as course fees, student and amenities fees, textbooks, academic journals and stationery expenses. You will also be able to claim a deduction for the decline in value of any depreciating assets which cost more than $300 that you use for your work-related study.

    You can't claim a deduction for the repayments you make on your study or training support loan. Study and training support loans include:

    • Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)
    • VET Student Loans (VETSL)
    • Trade Support Loan Program (TSL)
    • Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS)
    • Student Start-up Loan (SSL).

    While course fees may be deductible, fees you incur under the Higher Education Contribution Scheme Higher Education Loan Program (HECS-HELP) scheme are not deductible.

    If you have set aside a home office to do your study, you may also be able to claim home office running expenses, but not occupancy expenses. You generally can't claim a deduction for the first $250 of expenses for self-education.

    Example: course maintains or improves skills and knowledge

    Indira works as a paramedic. Indira enrols in and pays for a course on administering pain-relieving drugs which is one of her employment duties.

    As the course will improve the skills and knowledge she requires for her current duties, Indira can claim a deduction for the costs associated with undertaking the course.

    End of example


    Example: deduction for self-education not allowable

    Tom is an intensive care paramedic. Tom would like to become a surgeon so he enrols in Bachelor of Surgery.

    As the course is designed to open up a new income-earning activity, Tom can't claim a deduction for the costs associated with undertaking the course.

    End of example

    For more detailed information and record keeping, see:

    See also:

    Seminars, conferences and training courses

    You can claim for the cost of seminars, conferences and training courses that relate to your work as a paramedic.

    The costs you can claim includes fares to attend the venue where the seminar, conference or training course is held and registration costs. If you need to travel and stay away from home overnight to attend such an event, you can also claim the cost of accommodation and meals.

    You may not be able to claim all of your expenses if attending a seminar, conference or training course is for both work-related and private purposes. If the private purpose is incidental, such as a catered lunch or a reception for delegates, you can still claim all your expenses. However, if the main purpose is not work-related, such as attending a conference while on a holiday, you can only claim the direct costs. Direct costs include the registration costs.

    Where you have a dual purpose for attending the seminar, conference or training course, for example you add a holiday of one week to a training course that runs for one week, then you can only claim the work-related portion.


    You can claim a deduction for the cost of stationery such as diaries and pens that you purchase and use for work.

    You can't claim a deduction if your employer provides or reimburses you for these items.

    Sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreen

    You can claim a deduction for the work-related use of sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreen lotions if you:

    • must work in the sun for extended periods
    • use these items to protect yourself from the real and likely risk of illness or injury while at work.

    This includes prescription sunglasses and anti-glare glasses.

    You can only claim a deduction for the work-related use of the products if you also wear them for private purposes.

    See also:

    For more paramedic expenses, see:

      Last modified: 22 Feb 2021QC 61083