Caring for other people is all part of a day's work for you – but who's looking out for you? When you put so much care and energy into your day job all year long, the last thing you probably feel like doing, come the end of the financial year, is your taxes. But making your taxes a priority is actually the best thing you can do in the long run – and you don't have to do it alone.
Let us take care of you, for a change! Our expert tax consultants here at H&R Block are highly experienced and deeply familiar with all of the details of the Australian tax system, so they know exactly where to look to get you the right deductions for your role as a nurse, midwife or carer. And this means a bigger (and well deserved) tax refund at the end of the day.
To complete your return, you'll need as an employee in a fitness company, you'll first need an income statement from your employer (previously called a "payment summary" or "group certificate"). This is a summary that outlines all of your salary, wages, allowances and bonuses for the financial year. You won't need to have an actual copy of this statement, as it should be lodged by your employer directly to the ATO. Once this has been lodged, we can download the information for you and then help you work out your deductions.
What do I need to know about claiming deductions?
As you know, you're entitled to claim deductions on any money spent during the financial year on products or services that directly related to earning an income. But there are two things you need to remember:
- First, you need to have spent the money yourself (it can't have been reimbursed by your employer), and
- Secondly, you need to keep a record of the expense such as a receipt or invoice.
What deductions can I claim?
There is a wide range of deductions you can claim as a nurse, midwife or carer, such as:
- Car expenses if you travel between different jobs on the same day (for example from your job at a hospital or clinic to a second job working in a restaurant) or to different locations for your work (for example if you are doing a series of home visits to patients)
- Any expenses connected to buying, repairing and cleaning any work clothing items that are part of an official uniform, are distinctive to your company (such as a t-shirt with a logo on it) or have protective benefits (like a face mask or gloves)
- Any commissions or fees paid to a nursing agency including upfront, joining or search fees
- Annual practising certificate fees, as well as union and professional association fees
- Any expenses related to buying equipment or tools specifically required for your work, such as a bag to carry patient files, a specialised timepiece (like a nurse's fob watch) or a stethoscope
- Self education costs for attending any courses, training, conferences or seminars specifically related to your current line of work (such as a six week course on home birthing techniques)
- The cost of a first aid training course if you're a designated first aid person and need to do first aid training to assist in emergency work situations
- Phone and internet expenses for any work-related usage on your personal phone or device, provided they are not already covered by your employer
- Working from home office or study expenses such as heating or cooling, and repairs to equipment
What can't I claim?
There are several key expenses you can't claim, including:
- Any regular clothing worn to your workplace that could also be worn outside of work (such as black pants, sneakers or a white t-shirt) even if you only wear it for work and bought it specifically to wear to work
- Any study or educational expenses that are not specifically related to your current job (for example, if you're currently employed as a general nurse in a hospital but are doing a course in midwifery at night with the plan of shifting to become a specialist nurse, which will require finding a new job)
- Childcare costs incurred while you're working
- Any grooming costs, including hairdressing services and buying items of make up, even if it's a requirement of your job to be well presented
- Any costs incurred when travelling between your home and your workplace, even if you live a long distance away
What records do I need to keep?
Taking care of your records is really important at tax time, and you need to stay on top of your receipts and have a comprehensive set receipts if you want to get a good tax refund. It's a smart idea to create an easy and reliable system to help you keep on top of this throughout the year.
Remember, you don't need to keep physical receipts, and it's acceptable to keep a digital copy (such as a photo of a receipt or an email receipt) provided it is possible to read:
- The name of the supplier
- Amount of the expense
- Nature of the goods or services
- Date the expense was paid
- Date of the document
You also don't need to keep receipts for expenses under $10 (as long as these don't cumulatively come to more than $200).
What happens if I make a mistake in my tax return?
Don't stress! We know this can happen to anyone and strongly recommend dealing with it as soon as possible. This is always the best approach. It's essential that you take great care in putting together the information and supporting documentation when filing your tax return, and only claim deductions that are genuine to avoid penalties and possibly even prosecution from the ATO.
It's easy to make an innocent mistakes sometimes, and if you self-lodge and realise you've submitted incorrect or unsubstantiated claims then you should contact H&R Block immediately and we will assist you in making the necessary amendments.
Still have some questions about lodging your tax return? Talk to H&R Block. Our experienced tax consultants will be able to help. Call 13 23 25 for details or find your nearest office and book an appointment online.
Book an online appointment today
Our H&R Block accountants are now working online. Book an appointment with an expert.