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Top #10 deductions for Health Service workers

When it comes to doing your tax return right, knowing the most common deductions that may be claimed in your industry is important. Below is a list of the top #10 deductions for health services workers to consider when preparing their tax return.

Top 10 deductions for Health Service workers

  1. Travel between different workplaces

If you receive a travel allowance to cover work-related travel expenses, here’s what you need to know about claiming deductions according to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO):

  • Deductible Expenses: You can claim a deduction for travel expenses incurred when you’re away from your home overnight for work. These expenses include accommodation, meals, and incidentals12.
  • Travel Allowance: If your travel allowance is shown on your annual income statement or payment summary:
    • Include the allowance as income in your tax return.
    • Claim a deduction for the amount you spent on deductible travel expenses.
    • Keep Detailed Records: Maintain detailed travel expense records unless your deduction falls within reasonable amounts specified by the ATO.

2. Uniform & laundry

    When it comes to claiming deductions for clothing and laundry expenses in Australia, here’s what you need to know:

    • Occupation-Specific Clothing:
      • You can claim the cost of buying or cleaning occupation-specific clothing that distinctly identifies you with a particular job. Examples include a chef’s chequered pants or a judge’s robe.
      • However, you cannot claim for clothes that are not specific to your occupation, are worn in multiple professions, or are everyday clothing (e.g., bartender’s black trousers, business suits, or swimwear for a swimming instructor).
    • Protective Clothing:
      • You can claim a deduction for clothing and footwear worn to protect you from real and likely risks related to your work activities or environment.
      • Protective clothing includes items like fire-resistant gear, sun protection clothing (with a UPF rating), and safety-colored vests.
    • Laundry Expenses:

      3. Self-Education Expenses

      When it comes to self-education expenses in Australia, you can claim a deduction if the education relates to your employment activities. Here’s what you need to know:

      • Eligible Expenses:
        • Tuition and Course Fees: You can claim expenses related to courses at educational institutions (whether or not they lead to a formal qualification).
        • Conferences and Seminars: Expenses for attending work-related conferences or seminars are deductible.
        • Self-Paced Learning and Study Tours: Whether within Australia or overseas, these expenses qualify.
      • Connection to Employment Income:
        • You can claim a deduction if the expense:
        • Maintains or Improves Skills: It’s connected to maintaining or improving specific skills or knowledge required for your job.
        • Increases Income: It results in, or is likely to result in, an increase in your income from employment activities.
      • Examples:
        • Apprenticeship Course: If you’re an apprentice hairdresser and take a TAFE course related to your work, those expenses are deductible.
        • Increased Income: For instance, if a programming language course leads to a pay rise in your current job, you can claim those expenses.
      • When You Can’t Claim:
        • The expense lacks a sufficient connection to your employment activities.
        • You’re not employed at the time.It only generally relates to your job (e.g., unrelated fashion photography course while working as a casual sales assistant).
        • It enables you to change employment (e.g., nurse to doctor transition).

      4. Union Fees & Professional subscriptions i.e APHRA

      When it comes to claiming deductions related to union fees and subscriptions in Australia, here’s what you need to know:

      • Union Fees:
        • You can claim a deduction for union fees paid to your trade union.
        • These fees are considered work-related expenses and fall under the “Other work-related expenses” section of your tax return.

      Subscriptions to Associations:

      • You can also claim deductions for subscriptions to trade, business, or professional associations.
      • These subscriptions must be relevant to your income-earning activities.
      • Keep records of the fees or subscriptions you pay throughout the year.
      • Bargaining Agent’s Fee:
      • If you pay a bargaining agent’s fee to a union for negotiations on a new enterprise agreement or award with your existing employer, you can claim it as well.

      5. Magazine / Journal subscriptions

      When it comes to claiming deductions for work-related expenses related to magazines and journal subscriptions in Australia, here’s what you need to know:

      Eligible Expenses:
      You can claim a deduction for subscriptions to technical, scientific, trade, business, or professional journals.
      These subscriptions must relate to the production of your assessable income.
      What You Can’t Claim:
      Unfortunately, you generally can’t claim a deduction for regular newspapers, news services, or general magazines. The cost of these subscriptions is considered a private expense.
      However, if you can demonstrate a sufficient connection between specific employment duties and the content of a particular publication, you may be eligible to claim a deduction.

      This is not an exhaustive list, each individual should get advice from their tax agent for their particular situation.

      For further information, please contact us & we’ll be happy to answer any question you may have on the topic.

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