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Tax time for nurses: What out-of-pocket expenses can you claim?

Nurses often have to pay for important and necessary things like uniforms, petrol and qualifications or training. While these purchases are vital, they are usually out-of-pocket too. This can leave people working in nursing jobs wondering what is and isn’t tax deductible.

Now that tax time in Australia has rolled around once more, we thought it might be useful to clarify which personal expenses nurses can claim on tax!

  • Uniforms, including protective gear, clothing with logos and laundering
  • Work-related laptop and computer expenses
  • Mobile phone expenses, if you use your phone for work-related calls
  • Car expenses for travelling between workplaces or making work-related trips
  • Travel expenses
  • Education expenses, including training and qualifications relevant to your current job
  • Meal expenses during overtime
  • Membership fees
  • Publications including nursing journals and magazines

While this list covers a broad range of expenses, it is important to double check the details of each expense to ensure you are definitely eligible to claim it. Expenses that are reimbursed by your employer are NOT eligible. Expenses being claimed MUST be work-related. Most importantly, remember to keep records of your work-related purchases to validate your claims.

There are a range of other expenses that Australians working in nursing jobs may be unsure whether or not they can claim on tax. Though the expenses below may be relevant to your job in some way, they are considered private expenses and therefore cannot be claimed on tax.

  • Driver’s license expenses
  • Child care expenses, even if you are required to pay them to be able to work
  • Fines, such as speeding fines given during work hours
  • Watch, glasses and contact lens expenses
  • Grooming, including hairdressing, hair products, make up, manicures and skincare products

If there are expenses you feel you may be able to claim, but aren’t sure about, visit the ATO’s website for comprehensive details on nurses’ tax claims. Remember to get your tax return completed and returned by the 31st of October!