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Nurses and midwives expenses P–S

Details on claiming common nurse and midwife expenses.

Last updated 2 June 2024

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 regular place of work. These are private expenses.

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

Example: deductible parking expense

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

Twice a year Lincoln drives his car to a training facility to undertake continuing professional development training, required by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. He pays for parking and isn't reimbursed by his employer.

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

End of example

Protective items

You can claim a deduction for the cost of protective items, equipment and products – for example, safety glasses and personal protective equipment such as gloves, face masks or sanitiser. You must use these items:

  • to protect you from the real and likely risk of injury or illness in your work environment or while performing your work duties – for example, working in close proximity to patients or clients while working
  • in direct connection to earning your employment income.

You can also claim the costs you incur to repair, replace or clean protective items.

You can't claim a deduction if your employer:

  • supplies the protective items
  • pays for the protective items
  • reimburses you for the costs you incur to buy protective items.

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 phone 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 phone calls.

For more information, see:

Example: calculating phone expenses

Ben is a nurse unit manager running the ward at a hospital. He is required to be on call when not on the ward to provide advice to nurses in the treatment of patients.

Ben uses his personal mobile phone for work purposes. He is on a set plan of $69 per month and rarely exceeds the plan cap.

He receives an itemised bill from his phone provider each month that includes details of his individual phone calls he has made.

At least once a year, Ben prints out his monthly bill and highlights the work-related calls he made. He also makes notes on his bill about who he has called for work – for example, his manager and his staff.

Out of the 300 phone calls he has made in a 4-week period, Ben works out that 90 (30%) of the individual phone calls are for work. He then applies that percentage to his cap amount of $69 a month.

Ben calculates his phone calls for work purposes as follows:

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

90 ÷ 300 = 0.30 (that is 30%)

Ben can claim 30% of the total bill of $69 for each month for work purposes, calculated as:

$69 × 0.30 = $20.70

Since Ben was only at work for 46 weeks of the year (10.6 months), he calculates his work-related mobile phone expense deduction as follows:

10.6 months × $20.70 = $219.42

End of example


Example: work and private use

Suni uses her computer and personal internet account at home to complete compulsory training. Suni also uses her computer and the internet for private purposes.

Suni keeps a diary for a 4-week period, recording the times she used the internet for work and private purposes. Suni's internet use diary showed 10% of her internet usage 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 × 0.10 = $120 as work-related internet use.

If there was anyone else that accessed the internet connection, Suni must reduce her claim to account for their use.

End of example

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.

Repairs to tools and equipment

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

Self-education expenses

You can claim a deduction for self-education expenses if it directly relates to your employment as a nurse or midwife and at the time the expense was incurred it:

  • maintains or improves the skills and knowledge you need for your current duties
  • results in or is likely to result in an increase in your income from your current employment.

You can't claim a deduction for a self-education expense if at the time the expense was incurred, it:

  • 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 expenses are deductible, you can claim expenses such as course or tuition 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.

If you study from home, you may also be able to claim work from home running expenses, but not occupancy expenses.

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) (FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP)
  • VET Student Loans (VSL)
  • Australian Apprenticeship Support Loan (AASL) (formerly Trade Support Loans (TSL))
  • Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS)
  • Student Start-up Loan (SSL).

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

Example: study to improve knowledge and skills in current job

Carmel is a registered nurse working in a rural hospital. Her current work duties include caring for children. She is also currently studying to specialise in paediatrics.

Carmel can claim her self-education expenses for this course because her studies will maintain and improve the skills and knowledge she needs to perform her current duties (which include caring for children).

End of example


Example: study to upgrade qualifications

John is a registered nurse working in a hospital and currently studying to specialise in intensive care nursing. John's pay will increase once he gets the qualification.

John can claim self-education expenses because his study will lead to an increase in his income from his current employment.

End of example


Example: can't claim due to limited use in current role

Ling is a registered nurse working in an aged care facility while studying to become a specialist nurse in midwifery. The study will primarily provide skills for a new position, which means she'll have to seek new employment.

Ling isn't eligible and can’t claim her self-education expenses because her specialised study has only limited or no use in her current work and therefore lacks sufficient connection to the duties performed.

End of example


Example: study isn't relevant to current duties

Claire is a personal carer working in a nursing home. Her duties include giving personal care to residents, assisting with daily living activities and reporting to a registered nurse about the patients. She doesn't take temperatures, blood pressure or administer medications. Claire decides to complete a Bachelor of Nursing to become employed as a registered nurse, which will involve different duties.

Claire can't claim a deduction for her self-education expenses because the course isn't relevant to her duties.

End of example


Example: working in an unrelated field

Tommy is a part-time nursing student. He supports himself by driving taxis. Having completed sufficient modules to be able to work as an enrolled nurse Tommy applies for a part-time job as an enrolled nurse and is successful.

Tommy can't claim the nursing study expenses he incurs while earning income as a taxi driver. This includes course fees he pays before he starts working as a nurse, even if the fees cover modules that he hasn't yet completed.

However, now he's working as an enrolled nurse on a part-time basis, Tommy can claim the self-education expenses he incurs after he commenced working as an enrolled nurse.

End of example


Example: working to support study rather than studying to increase skills

Duong on a casual basis works as a carer through a nursing agency to support himself whilst studying for a Bachelor of Nursing. Once he has his degree, Duong will be able to work as a registered nurse.

Duong can't claim his study expenses as a tax deduction because he was:

  • working to support his study
  • not studying to increase his skills, knowledge or income from his work activities as a carer.
End of example

Seminars, conferences and training courses

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

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 you can only claim the work-related portion of the expenses. For example, you add a holiday of one week to a training course that runs for one week.

Example: deductible conference and record keeping

Virginia is a night-shift nurse. To earn her continuing professional development points, broaden her knowledge and develop professional qualities for her role, she attends a Night-Shift Nursing Conference costing $629.

The conference is held in the hospital conference room in the building next door to her regular place of work. As the conference is related to her role, Virginia can claim a deduction for the cost of attending the conference.

Virginia takes a photo of the receipt she receives for the conference and uploads the photo to the myDeductions tools in the ATO app so that she knows where the information is when she is ready to lodge her tax return.

End of example


You can claim a deduction for the cost of logbooks, diaries and pens that you use for work. For example, a diary to keep a record of your continuing professional development.

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

For more nurses and midwifes' expenses, see: