They say two things in this world are certainties… death and taxes. As a nurse, you spend every working hour trying to battle that first certainty, but the second one requires some special attention as well. Don’t worry, taxes are next to impossible to forget. Not only do we get to see the deductions in every paycheck, but from now until April, literally every other commercial on television is for a tax service, an accounting firm, tax software, or tax attorneys.
In other words, unless you’re hiding under a rock, you can’t miss tax season. In fact, even if you are under a rock, chances are the IRS will find you and remind you they’re missing your return. But taxes don’t have to be a horrible experience. In fact, if you’re a nurse, you may just have some surprise deductions waiting for you.
The IRS gets a bad rap most of the time, but their tax code actually allows for quite a few deductions that can work very well for nurses. Nursing is a lot of work and a lot of hours, and sometimes that work comes with additional expenses. But track those expenses correctly throughout the year, and you may be able to get some of that money back.
Note: Be sure to consult a licensed professional before claiming expenses. All tips below do not constitute professional tax advice and may not apply to all tax situations.
Here are a few of the items you may be able to deduct as business expenses, as compiled by the financial website Pocket Sense:
- Clothing, such as scrubs, purchased specifically and used only for work.
- Tools and supplies purchased for work, such as sanitizer and medical equipment.
- Protective gear, such as safety goggles or surgical masks.
- Union dues
- Subscriptions to nursing magazines or other work-related publications
- Costs of attending work-related conferences and seminars
- Donations to nursing charities (excluding political action committees)
- State licensing fees
- Nursing board exam fees
- Educational courses and educational material
If you’re a traveling nurse (and working as an independent contractor), you have even more options available, as suggested by the expense tracking service MileIQ.
- Non-taxable stipends for meals and incidentals
- Temporary housing costs (from hotels to temporary apartments)
- Some airfare costs
- Some bus / train / car rental / public transit costs
- Some vehicle maintenance costs
The key to getting the most from your tax deductions as a nurse is to save your receipts and carefully track your expenses year-round. Simply estimating what you think you spent is a quick way to get into trouble with the IRS.
You do a lot of work as a nurse, and it’s important that you keep every cent that belongs to you. So watch those expenses, take advantage of your accountant or accounting service, and get every deduction you can. You’ve earned it!
If you’re interested in starting a career as a nurse or medical assistant, Unitek College can make that dream a reality. Start your new year right by Contacting Us Here.