Tax Guide for Medical Professionals

by | Apr 19, 2024

With the ATO closely scrutinising work-related expense claims, medical professionals including doctors, dentists, ophthalmologists, therapists, chiropractors, among others, can benefit from the Australian Taxation Office’s enhanced support and guidance. Recognising the prevalence of over-claiming deductions, the ATO is urging taxpayers in the medical field to accurately report their expenses.

Navigating tax obligations during this time can be complex, especially for medical practitioners. Many seek clarity on allowable deductions pertinent to their profession. At Chan & Naylor, we provide tailored advice covering common areas such as car, clothing, travel, home office, and self-education expenses. Accessing accurate information prior to filing income tax returns empowers our clients to submit precise claims and mitigate potential issues down the line.

Our objective at Chan & Naylor is to equip medical professionals with comprehensive knowledge, ensuring they make informed decisions about their tax claims and maintain proper records. By understanding what is permissible to claim, practitioners can expedite the processing of their tax returns and receive refunds promptly. Our proactive approach aims to facilitate efficient tax compliance from the outset, streamlining the overall process for all parties involved.

What you can and can’t claim

Each occupation has specific circumstances which affect what can and cannot be claimed. Here are some snippets from some ATO occupation guides. Remember, regardless of the occupation you are in, you can only claim the work-related part of expenses, and you must meet the three golden rules:

  • You must have spent the money yourself and not been reimbursed
  • The claim must be directly related to earning your income; and
  • You need a record to prove it

You can claim a tax deduction when you:

  • Drive between 2 separate jobs on the same day (eg. Driving between house calls)
  • Drive to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day – eg travelling to different hospitals or medical centres.
  • You can claim a deduction for the cost of buying, hiring, mending or cleaning certain uniforms that are unique and distinctive to your job – eg a compulsory doctor’s uniform – or protective clothing that your employer requires you to wear – eg lab coats or surgical caps.
  • Travel expenses if you are required to travel overnight and don’t attend your usual work location, eg travelling to a remote location to work at a clinic, provided the cost was incurred while carrying out your work duties. This could include meals, accommodation and incidental expenses that you incurred, and your employer has not provided or reimbursed you.
  • Self- education expenses if your course relates directly to your current job – eg continuing professional development to maintain medical registrations.

Other expenses you can claim a deduction for include:

  • professional indemnity insurance
  • medical journal subscriptions and publications
  • AMA or other medical professional association membership fees
  • the work-related portion of phone expenses
  • medical equipment and insurance for that equipment.

However, you usually cannot claim home to work travel, and you cannot claim clothes or shoes that are not uniform or are not designed to provide you with sufficient protection from the risk of injury at your worksite, even if the item is called ‘workwear’ by the supplier.

We’re here to help

If you’re seeking to fine-tune your tax strategies or simply have questions about how these laws apply to your profession, we’re ready to assist. Our accounting team offers personalised assistance for your business’s tax compliance needs. Contact us to optimise your tax strategies and navigate complex laws with ease.

About Chan & Naylor

Founded in 1990, we have partnered with thousands of professionals, businesses, and investors all over Australia. Choosing Chan & Naylor means you’re not just selecting a service provider; you’re gaining a partner aligned with your financial goals. You’ll have access to a dedicated client manager supported by a team of accountants that specialises in tax and investments.


Please note that the information here is a general overview. Taxation is a complicated matter and you should seek specific advice from a qualified and experienced professional suited to your circumstances.