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Top Tax Tips and Deductions for Nurses

Updated on May 3, 2023

If you are a nurse, midwife, or other healthcare worker, you should receive a Form W-2, Wage, and Tax Statement, from the organization employing you. There are no longer deductions available for you as an employee.

If you work as a contract nurse, such as a traveling nurse, home health care, etc. you are generally considered self-employed and should receive a Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income.  This income should be reported on Schedule C and you can deduct your expenses related to your work such as mileage driven for your work, supplies, licensing renewal, office expenses, etc.

Tax Triage: Key Deductions and Credits for Nurses

Payments that you receive for providing healthcare services as a contractor are considered income from self-employment and should be reported on Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business. An example may include working as a private nurse for a person who is not a family member. As an independent worker, you must pay self-employment tax on the income from your net profit if your net earnings are $400 or more. In addition, you may need to make estimated payments to cover the amount of self-employment tax and income tax associated with the income you report on Schedule C.

You can claim a credit for education expenses for continuing education requirements - as long as you pay for the courses - as well as education to get a higher degree such as a Masters or Ph.D. If you are self-employed and the education is part of your state’s certification renewal process, it is deductible on your Schedule C. However, if the education is needed to meet the minimum educational requirements to qualify you for a particular position, it is not deductible. You may be able to claim a Lifetime Learning Credit for your courses even if they aren’t allowed as a deduction. 

Expenses you may be able to deduct on your Schedule C are:

  • Computer/Laptop –you may be able to claim depreciation costs

  • Home office – if you work from home, you may be able to claim the percentage of your rent or interest and taxes as well as your utilities. Note, the IRS strictly regulates home office expenses. Make sure you follow all guidelines when claiming these expenses.

  • Mobile phone – you may be able to claim the percentage of work-related phone calls

  • Professional memberships and union dues

  • Stationery – diaries, planners, log books, workbooks

  • Subscriptions – related trade publications, books, and journals

  • Tools such as a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, blood drawing equipment, etc.

  • Work uniforms and protective gear (i.e. googles) – expenses and laundering


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