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Professional memberships and accreditations

Deductions for the cost of a membership, accreditation or annual practising certificate you need to work in your field.

Last updated 25 April 2023

You can claim a deduction for the cost of renewing an annual practising certificate, membership or accreditation if you need it to work in your field.

These include:

  • trade licences for plumbers, electricians and carpenters
  • crane, hoist and scaffolding licences for construction workers
  • responsible service of alcohol and gaming licences for hospitality workers
  • registration for nurses, teachers and doctors.

If you're required to have a practising certificate, professional membership or accreditation before you can be employed in an occupation, the initial cost of obtaining it isn't deductible. This is because you incurred the expense to enable you to start your employment, not during the course of your employment.

To claim a deduction, the expense must be related to your current employment.

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Example: renewing registration

Brenden is a nurse and must renew his registration annually to continue working as a nurse. He can claim a deduction for the cost of renewing his registration each year. He incurs the expense in earning his employment income.

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Example: obtaining certificate as a prerequisite to work

Drew has finished his legal training in Townsville and is preparing to start his career as a solicitor. To practise as a solicitor, Drew must apply to the Supreme Court of Queensland to be admitted as a lawyer, and then apply for a practising certificate. Until he is granted both, he can't practise law.

Drew isn't entitled to claim a deduction for the cost of his admission or practising certificate because he incurs these costs to start earning employment income. Once he is employed, he can deduct the cost of renewing his practising certificate each year, as it allows him to continue earning his employment income.

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