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  • Nurse, midwife or carer

    If you’re a nurse, midwife or carer it pays to learn what you can claim at tax time.

    On this page:

    Main tips

    To claim a deduction for work-related expenses:

    • you must have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed
    • it must be directly related to earning your income
    • you must have a record to prove it.

    You can use the ATO app myDeductions tool to keep track of your expenses and receipts throughout the year.

    You can only claim the work-related part of expenses. You can’t claim a deduction for any part of the expense that relates to personal use.

    Car expenses

    You can claim a deduction when you:

    • drive between separate jobs on the same day – for example, travelling from your job as a carer to a second job as a musician
    • drive to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day – for example, driving from your usual clinic to another clinic to work for the same employer.

    You generally can’t claim the cost of trips between home and work, even if you live a long way from your usual workplace or have to work outside normal business hours – for example, public holiday shifts.

    In limited circumstances you can claim the cost of trips between home and work, where you were required to carry bulky tools or equipment for work and you met all of the following conditions:

    • the tools or equipment were essential for you to perform your employment duties and you didn’t carry them merely as a matter of choice
    • the tools or equipment were bulky – meaning that because of their size and weight they were awkward to transport and could only be transported conveniently by the use of a motor vehicle
    • there was no secure storage for the items at the workplace.

    If you claim car expenses, you need to keep a logbook to determine the work-related percentage, or be able to demonstrate to the ATO a reasonable calculation if you use the cents per kilometre method to claim.

    Phone and internet expenses

    You can claim phone and internet usage if your employer needs you to use your personal devices for work.

    You can only claim the work-related portion of the use of your personal device.

    Clothing expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of buying, hiring, mending or cleaning certain uniforms that are unique and distinctive to your job, or protective clothing, for example, non-slip nursing shoes or support stockings, that your employer requires you to wear.

    You can’t claim a deduction for the cost of buying or cleaning plain clothing worn at work, even if your employer tells you to wear it, and even if you only wear it for work, for example, black pants and a white shirt.

    Self-education expenses

    You can claim a deduction for self-education expenses if your course relates directly to your current job, for example, wound care course.

    You can’t claim a deduction if your study is only related in a general way or is designed to help get you a new job, for example, you can’t claim the cost of study to enable you to move from being a carer to being a registered nurse.

    Other expenses

    As long as the expense relates to your employment, you can claim a deduction for the work-related portion of the cost of:

    • calculators
    • union and professional association fees
    • agency commissions and agency fees, and annual practising certificate fees
    • technical or professional publications.

    See also:

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      Last modified: 17 Dec 2020QC 59240