Tax as an Agency Nurse – What questions to ask your accountant!

Tax as an Agency Nurse end of financial year on a book ready for accountant

It’s getting to that time of the year where the tax man is lurking around the corner with that cheeky grin on his face thinking about your tax balance! Tax as an Agency Nurse with an unique work & lifestyle can raise different questions, and it can be hard to know the right ones to ask your accountant. After all, if you don’t ask you don’t get when it comes to the tax man!

To help guide your thinking, we have compiled some general information and resources into one place for some pointers. An important thing to remember, everyone’s tax circumstances are different, please speak to your tax advisor before attempting to claim any of the below. Following the below without the advice of an expert would be like putting the med student in charge of the ward for an hour… and everybody knows how that would end up!

The ATO states that generally, ‘to be able to claim a work-related expense as a deduction in your income tax return, you need to have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed, the expense must directly relate to you earning your income and you must have record to prove it.’ So, a general rule of thumb is if you received reimbursement from Affinity or a Health Service – you can’t claim it! Visit the ATO website here for further information.

According to ETAX & ATO resources, these are some common nursing specific items you may be eligible to claim.

  • Memberships, blue card and union fees.
  • Renewal of your annual practicing certificate.
  • Mandatory work immunisations: if not already covered by your health service employer.
  • Self-Education expenses: This could include short courses, CPD’s and qualifications such as a related degree. For further information on self-education specifically, click here
  • Work Uniforms: Work uniform expenses such as protective equipment, uniforms with a logo, protective footwear and laundering expenses for those items.
  • Work equipment: stethoscopes, fob watches, etc. Note different rules apply for equipment under the value of $300 and over the value of $300.
  • Stationery: diaries, planners, logbooks, workbooks etc.
  • Computer/Laptop: If you have to use your personal computer or laptop for work, you may be able to claim depreciation costs for these items (based on a percentage of legitimate work-related use).
  • Mobile phone: You may be able to claim a percentage of your mobile phone bill if you use your mobile for work related phone calls.
  • Subscriptions: Subscriptions to nursing magazines, books and journals used to keep your knowledge current are claimable.
  • Travel expenses: flights, taxis, train and bus fares for training courses, trade fairs etc.
  • Overtime meal expenses
  • Accommodation costs: while working away from home. For further information click here

For further information and specific advice on the possible deductions above and tax as an Agency Nurse, please visit the ATO website here and the ETAX website here. To help guide you further with claimable items, ETAX have created this handy checklist for nurses & midwives – click here for a copy! (We love this – you can thank us later!)

Happy deduction seeking and may the odds be in your favour!

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