To claim a deduction for work-related expenses you must meet the 3 golden rules:
- You must have spent the money and you weren't reimbursed
- The expense must directly relate to earning your income
- You must have a record to prove it (usually a receipt).
Where nurses often fail to claim are in areas that tax experts simply don't think to ask about. Vehicle and travel expenses may be claimable if you are required to move between locations during shifts. This is especially relevant for midwives and those who float between hospitals. Generally, travel to and from work is not eligible as a deduction. Dry-cleaning, laundry and other similar expenses may also be claimable, as are gifts and donations. In our industry this is especially important, because statistically we give regularly to charities we care about.
Your mobile phone may also be partially deductible, as long as you are required to use it for work. Normally, this may include being available to take or make calls relevant to work, even if you can't carry your phone around your workplace.
Also, remember fees and memberships. Your union fees should be listed as a deduction, as are some professional memberships.
It's important for everyone to make sure they are asking plenty of what they may consider to be, "stupid questions," of their tax advisor. If you travel to regional areas you will have additional claims, and any work-related expenses you had to pay for the time also may be claimed for.
These questions are equally important to avoid accidentally claiming to something you are not eligible for. It is very important not to accidentally, "double dip." this meant that you have been remunerated by your employer for something, training for example, you must not claim that as a deduction. Likewise, if you were given a company mobile phone it may be seen as suspicious that you also claim for your personal phone, even if you choose to use to use it at the expense of your work phone.
The main thing here is to realise where your strengths lie. don't make any assumptions, ask questions and make sure you receive everything you are eligible for.