Overlooked Tax Deductions for Nurses and Healthcare Professionals

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It’s understandable that the last thing a nurse, physician, pharmacist, or any other healthcare professional wants to worry about is tax deductions.

This daunting thought can also be the reason why so many workers in the healthcare field file too quickly in an effort to complete this task.

Many of the medical professions can be grueling with lots of stress, little sleep, and long hours.

To add to your already long list, you will want to make sure all your documents are in line for taxes in order to stay ahead of the game.

In this article, I will show you how to get the most deductions in order to lower your tax bill.

Nurses tax deductions. Healthcare professional in white coat inside lab.

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Getting Ready for Tax Season

When preparing for the tax season, please keep in mind that you can write off expenses that are common for your profession and ones that are necessary to help you complete your job requirements.

If you need to claim expenses as an employee, then be sure to fill out the itemized deduction Schedule A Form.

 I’ve put together a quick, generalized tax deductions checklist for healthcare professionals for you to download below.

Tax Checklist Deductions
Click image to download your FREE personal tax preparation checklist.

Click HERE for the complete tax preparation check list needed for filing your taxes.

Update: Since the beginning of 2018, employees are no longer able to deduct their unreimbursed employee expenses on their taxes.

According to the IRS, nurses who are employees can no longer deduct unreimbursed employee expenses like uniforms and continuing education on their federal taxes starting in 2018 due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

However, some states still allow deductions for items like uniforms, union dues, and continuing education. Nurses who are independent contractors can continue deducting these expenses from their federal taxes.

Many provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act like the increased standard deduction amounts expire in 2025, meaning deductions could change again in the future. Nurses should stay up-to-date on evolving tax laws impacting their profession.

What is a Tax Deduction?

A tax deduction is money that you subtract from your earned income, which will lower the amount of money you are taxed and the amount of tax you may possibly owe.

4 Common Tax Deductions for Nurses, Mid-wives, and other Healthcare Professional

Nursing tax deductions. White coat with common tax deductions for healthcare professionals like pharmacists and doctors.

1. Clothing/Uniforms

Your work outfit has to be specific to the work you do as a Healthcare Professional, Pharmacist, or Nurse.

For example, scrubs, lab coats, or medical shoes are items you can write off when doing your taxes.

If you’re thinking about something more in the fashion sense, you’d have to be able to prove its necessity for accomplishing your job.

2. Supplies

Any amount you spend on materials you purchase as a Healthcare Professional or Nurse for your contract work or job.

Tax Deductions for nurses and health care professionals

These items include:

  • Medical equipment
  • Protective gear
  • Shoes
  • Sanitizing supplies
  • Medical equipment, etc.

Power Tip: Keep a good record of each item you buy, just in case you need it in the future for the IRS.

3. Licenses and Education

Being licensed is a common requirement for professionals in the healthcare industry.

The good thing for you is that you can write off the fee associated with getting your license and maintaining your license.

You can also write off fees for your local business license if you have one.

Tax Deductions for nurses and health care professionals checklist

When it comes to your education, which is highly important to stay competitive, these fees can also be written off.

Along with any travel associated with obtaining your continued education, such as healthcare-related conferences, meetings, and seminars.

Read: Where Do Nurses Make the Most Money

Once licensed, you can deduct the cost of any continuing education classes needed to improve your skills.

If you completed your RN–BSN degree last year or any other schooling, you may be eligible for a tax deduction or credit.

Tuition for school has to be done separately from the 1098-T form that you will receive from your school.

Subscriptions to magazines, medical journals, or books related to your job also count as deductions since you need them to stay up-to-date with the latest trends.

Are You a Travel Nurse?

If so, you may qualify for quite a few travel tax deductions. This may include mileage, transportation, parking costs, and tolls just to name a few.

4. Any Services

Services such as dry cleaning, tax preparation fees, or having uniforms altered are examples of services needed to maintain the integrity of your job.

Keep track of your nursing expenses through a bookkeeping software such as FreshBooks!

Other Tax Deductions for Nurses, Pharmacists, and Healthcare Professionals

Tax Deductions for pharmacist and health care professionals checklist

Home Office Tools

  • Office Phone
  • Answering Service
  • Cell Phone
  • Internet Service

Supplies and Expenses

  • Bag – Medical
  • Computer and Printer
  • Business Cards and Briefcase
  • Business Meals
  • Medical Equipment
  • Office Supplies
  • Digital Recorder
  • Referral Service Repairs – Equipment
  • Stationery

Professional and Continuing Education

  • Licenses
  • Memberships
  • Insurance
  • Seminars
  • Publications
  • Correspondence Course
  • Fees Lab Fees
  • Materials & Supplies
  • Photocopy Expenses
  • Reference Material
  • Registration Fees
  • Transcripts
  • Tuition
  • Textbooks
  • Malpractice & Liability Insurance
  • Journals – Medical
  • Legal fees

Vehicle and Travel

  • Car Rental
  • Parking & Tolls
  • Total Miles Driven
  • Business Miles Driven
  • Airfare
  • Taxi, Bus
  • Lodging
  • Meals


  • Donations/Charity

Uniforms & Upkeep

  • Alterations
  • Shoes
  • Cleaning
  • Hat, Cap Jacket, Pants, and Scrubs
  • Laundry & Cleaning

Professional Fees & Dues

  • Alumni Dues
  • Medical Association Dues
  • Professional Association Dues
  • Union Dues

Grab You Healthcare Tax Preparation Checklist Below!

Tax Checklist Medical Professionals

Forms Needed to Claim Deductions as a Pharmacist, Nurse, or other Healthcare Professional

Travel nurses and other traveling professionals are generally independent contractors, meaning self-employed.

Whatever way you are paid, you’ll want to keep track of every amount of money you receive.

Tax Deductions for travel nurse pharmacist and health care professionals checklist

IRS Form 1040 is needed to write off your expenses as a Nurse, Pharmacist, or Healthcare Professional. The expenses of your business will be placed inside the deductions area of Form 1040.

As an independent contractor, you’re accountable for all of your tax payments plus your travel expenses. 

Remember that deductions reduce your tax payments as mentioned before. There are also traveling nurses who work as full-time W-2 employees for nursing staffing agencies.

Power Tip: Use the standard deduction only if your total expenses do not exceed the dollar amount set by the IRS.

An itemized deduction is only needed if your expenses are more than the set standard deduction dollar amount.

You can use the IRS Form 1040 Schedule C if you need to itemize your deductions.

How can you tell if you’re self-employed/independent contractor or employee?

It depends on the tax form the employer gives you: W-2 = employee and 1099-MISC = self-employed/independent contractor.

Remember: Keep track of your expenses and income on a spreadsheet or bookkeeping program such as FreshBooks.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act nearly doubled the standard deduction amounts, which means fewer taxpayers now itemize deductions.

Nurses should calculate whether the standard or itemized deductions result in a larger reduction in taxable income. Those who lost miscellaneous deductions may now be better off taking the higher standard deduction.

How to Keep Your Files Tax Information Organized

  • Hold on to your W-2 forms and 1099 forms
  • Save receipts of items you bought for your business if you’re a contractor
  • Keep track of expenses in an Excel spreadsheet or through a bookkeeping software such as FreshBooks
  • Have a tax preparation checklist completed
  • Keep a detailed Nurse, Pharmacist, or Healthcare Professional tax deduction checklist handy

Final Thoughts

I hope this tax deduction checklist helps you navigate through the tumultuous waters of the income tax season.

Let me know which deduction surprised you the most in the comment section below!

For more money-saving tips and guides, subscribe to the weekly newsletter!

Missed tax deductions for nurses. Nurse with band-aid. #taxtips #taxdeductions
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Until the next money adventure, take care!


The Handy Tax Guy Tax Service

Disclosure Statement: All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. The Handy Tax Guy makes no absolute representation of the correctness, mistakes, omissions, delays, appropriateness, or legitimacy of any information on this site. 

**Note: Each client circumstance will vary on a case-by-case basis**

(Original Article Published in 2016/Updated September 8, 2023))

Nikida Metellus

Nikida Metellus is a financial freedom advocate, author, and the reimagined voice behind ThemeParkHipster.com, now focused on helping you achieve a debt-free life and financial success. Based in Orlando, Florida, she combines her love for theme parks with actionable financial strategies, offering a unique perspective on balancing fun and finances. As the author of Complete Tax Planning Guide, she has now expanded her expertise to guide you on the road to financial freedom. Co-founder of Bramework and a coffee enthusiast at heart, Nikida is committed to empowering you with practical tips and insights to manage your money wisely. When she's not blogging or exploring Florida's attractions, she enjoys quality time with her husband and two daughters. Welcome to your journey toward a financially free life!

2 thoughts on “Overlooked Tax Deductions for Nurses and Healthcare Professionals”

  1. I thought these deductions went away with the new tax codes. Where in our taxes do we deduct these?

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