Personal Tax Specialists

tax deductions for nurses and health professionals

Tax Tip – Nurses, midwifes and direct carers (nurses aides) may be on the 2013 Tax Office audit target list

In 2013 the Tax Office may be reviewing (or auditing) tax returns lodged by nurses, midwifes and direct carers to ensure the deductions claimed are correct.

To make sure your return is correct, check our list below for the deductions you are allowed to claim. Also make sure you have the correct records for each of your claims. If you need advice, contact us at

If you work as a nurse or other health professional, in a hospital, agency or private practice, some of the tax deductions you may be able to claim on your personal tax return are:

Meals and Travel

  • The cost of buying meals when you work overtime, provided you have been paid an allowance by your employer (you can claim for your meals without having to keep any receipts, provided you can show how you have calculated the amount you spent)
  • The cost of parking, tolls, taxis and public transport if you are required to travel to attend seminars, conferences, meetings and training courses not held at your usual place of work, or between 2 or more jobs (if you need to stay away overnight you can also claim for the cost of all meals and your accommodation)
  • The cost of using your own car for work, including travel to attend meetings, conferences or training courses that are not held at your workplace, between 2 different jobs or to visit patients at their homes (to claim for car costs it is usually best to keep a diary record of the number of kilometres you travel during the year for work purposes and then we can calculate the amount of your tax deduction at the end of the year)

Work Clothing

  • The cost of buying uniforms (including shirts, pants, skirts, jackets, jumpers, stockings, socks and shoes – but only where they are an essential part of a distinctive compulsory uniform, the characteristics of which—colour, style, type—are specified in your employer’s uniform policy, or where each item has the employer’s logo on it)
  • Non-slip nursing shoes (even if these are not part of a compulsory uniform)
  • The cost of laundry, dry cleaning or repairs of your uniforms


  • The cost of work-related training courses (for example first aid, OH&S, wound-care, treatment updates and conferences) provided they relate to your CURRENT work. You can claim for the cost of any course fees, books, stationery, internet connection, telephone calls, tools or equipment and travelling to and from the course. You can also claim any accommodation and meal expenses you have to pay if you are required to stay away overnight for your course
  • The cost of self-education courses run by a University (not including HECS/HELP fees) or TAFE, for example Midwifery qualifications, provided they relate to your CURRENT work. If you are studying, you can also claim for the cost of books, stationery, equipment and travel required for your course

Work Equipment

  • The cost of buying and repairing equipment you use at work, including medical equipment and tools, electronic organisers, computers and mobile phones
  • The cost of stationery, diary, log book or briefcase

Other Work Expenses

  • The cost of union fees
  • The cost of professional memberships and subscriptions
  • The cost of renewing your annual practicing certificate
  • The cost of agency commissions or agency fees
  • The cost of work-related books, magazines and journals
  • The cost of work-related mobile or home telephone calls and rental (you should keep a diary record of the number of phone calls you make for work for one month and then we can use that to estimate your usage for the whole year)
  • The cost of work-related internet connection fees (you can only claim the proportion of your monthly fees that relate to work use, which could include emailing, research relating to your job or training)
  • The cost of a fob watch (but not a conventional watch)

General Expenses

There are some tax deductions that all employees can claim on their personal tax returns:

  • The amount of any donations to registered charities (as long as you haven’t received anything in return for your donation, such as raffle tickets or novelty items)
  • The cost of bank fees charged on any investment accounts
  • The cost of income protection or sickness and accident insurance premiums (this type of insurance covers you if you hurt yourself (including when you are not at work) or become sick and you are unable to work. It will pay you your normal wage until you are fit to return to work – if you don’t have this insurance you should see a financial adviser or ask us and we will refer you to someone who can organise it for you. It is definitely worthwhile)
  • Your tax agent fees (the amount you pay to your accountant to prepare your tax return each year)
  • The cost of travelling to see your tax agent (you can claim the cost of travelling to see your accountant to have your tax return prepared. You should keep a record of the number of kilometres you travel and any other incidental costs such as parking, meals, accommodation etc)

We suggest that you keep receipts for all purchases that are work related, even if they are not listed above. That way, when we prepare your tax return, we can decide whether you are allowed to claim a tax deduction for them or not.

If you would like any more information about the deductions listed or if you would like the Personal Tax Specialists team to prepare your tax return for you to ensure you maximise your claims this year, contact us at