3 min read

Nurses Can Claim These 5 Things as Tax Deductions

Tax time is the biggest, ugliest frog in the financial year. So it makes sense to dig in and get it out of the way early. As a nurse, midwife or health professional you may be able to claim some special deductions that can transform this frog into a princely tax return.

 Generally, you can claim work-related expenses as deductions if:

  • You have spent the money yourself and weren't reimbursed
  • It is directly related to earning your income
  • You have a record to prove it.  


1. Work clothing

Female nurse looking at camera in hospital hallway-1

You know those comfortable, non-slip shoes that save your life every day? Yes, they can be claimed as a deduction, even if not part of your official uniform. These are considered different from standard non-deductible clothing/footwear because they have a protective/workplace attribute (non-slip). Fashionable, functional and financially safe.

 You can also claim the cost of any repairs to your uniform, as well as things like laundry and dry cleaning.


 2. Education


Some self-education and study courses are deductible. Generally, if the study a) maintains or improves the skills and knowledge you need for your current duties and b) results in or is likely to result in an increase in your income from your current employment - then it will likely be deductible. So if you are an enrolled nurse undertaking a Bachelor of Nursing degree the cost of course fees, textbooks and stationery are deductible.

Please note that while course fees may be deductible, fees incurred under the HECS-HELP scheme, or other government study loans, are not deductible.

Things like CPD, seminars, conferences and first aid courses also count; if you need to complete the training course to assist in emergency work situations.


 3. Meals

Nurse meal break

Unfortunately, the cost of meals during your normal hours of work is usually not tax-deductible. So what about overtime? If you’re paid an overtime meal allowance under an industrial award, include the allowance in your tax return as income and you buy and eat the meal while you are performing overtime, then it’s winner winner chicken dinner!


 4. Equipment

Nurse on phone

With understaffing and under-resourcing a seriously escalating problem across the State (and country), it’s a good idea for every health professional to keep a work diary. That way you can keep a record of issues. We all know that if something ever goes wrong then they will try to blame you or your colleagues. 

You can also claim a portion of your mobile phone expenses if you use it for work - for example if you are on call.

But remember, if you’ve been reimbursed by your employer for these items then you will not be able to claim them as deductions.


 5. Union and Professional association fees

Bundaberg tour

Workplace protection and representation is your right and an inherent part of your work life. Guaranteed by the International Labour Standards and domestic law. That means your NPAQ dues are 100% tax-deductible. If you have any questions or need help signing up, the NPAQ support team is always happy to answer any questions, please give us a call on 1300 263 374 or visit NPAQ today!  


The author is not a tax expert nor authorised to give tax advice. The information contained in this article is for discussion purposes only, please consult your tax agent or do your own research.