Tax rules and regulations are not always the easiest thing to work out. We all know there are a bunch of things – from charity to stationary – which you can potentially claim as deductions on your tax. But it’s easy to get lost amongst the various deductions, exemptions, and exclusions for what you can and can’t claim.
First aid training, for example, is a valuable skill for a workplace but is not explicitly required for many roles. So what’s the story with claiming a first aid course on your tax? Under what circumstances is first aid training tax deductible?
What Can I Claim A Deduction On?
The first thing to consider is what qualifies for a tax deduction. The majority of deductions you can claim on your tax are for things directly related to your employment – often expenses that you incur as part of doing your job, which your employer expects you to pay for. Uniforms or work clothing are a classic example.
When Can I Claim First Aid Training?
There are many situations where claiming first aid training as a tax deduction is an absolute no brainer. There are also times when it’s a bit borderline – and you need to do a little homework. So what are some of the possible situations?
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Your Workplace Requires All Staff (Of Your Type) To Have First Aid Training
This is probably the biggest no-brainer – if you’re working in a situation where first aid certification is a condition of your employment but not actually provided by your employer, then it’s almost certainly tax-deductible. This applies both to jobs of a specific medical nature (such as nursing) and non-medical roles that still require first aid certification.
For example, although childcare workers in a family daycare role aren’t explicitly medical personnel, they are still required to all be certified in first aid, anaphylaxis and asthma management. Thus, completing a HLTAID012 Provide First Aid in an education and care setting course can definitely be claimed as a tax deduction as it’s a requirement of their work.
You’re The First Aid Person In Your Workplace
If your workplace isn’t medical (and there’s no requirement for ALL staff to be trained), you may still be able to claim first aid training courses on your tax. If you’ve moved into a role requiring first aid certification – such as being a designated first aid person within your workplace – then you can claim a deduction.
This can also apply in situations like a centre-based child care service. In centres like this, each room must have at least one educator trained in first aid, and anaphylaxis and asthma management. If you’re nominated to be the person on the ground with the relevant first aid qualifications, then you can claim the cost of the course on your tax.
You’d need to make sure the training you do is appropriate to your role, of course. So a designated first aid officer at an IT firm could easily claim a deduction for doing the industry-standard HLTAID011 Provide First Aid course, but you might have a more difficult time justifying the extra cost for the more advanced HLTAID014 Provide Advanced First Aid course – which is a far higher level of training than you’d need for the role you’re doing.
Are There Other Situations Where I Might Be Able To Claim?
Yes, depending on your circumstances. There are a lot of situations where it might be a little hard to judge whether something could be claimed as a deduction, so you might need to do a little homework.
For example, teachers are very often required to have training in CPR and basic emergency life support (aka “BELS”) to be able to work, so getting training in those would be tax-deductible. However, they’re not officially required to get full training in first aid, anaphylaxis, and asthma management in many cases. But it is “Strongly Recommended” by the department.
Teachers also have to do 60 hours of professional development every three years to maintain their teacher’s registration. A first aid course can certainly be included as part of those professional development hours, but so could many free activities.
So if it’s beneficial to your employment (on a few different levels), but it’s not technically required, can it still be claimed as a tax deduction?
In this case, yes – the information on the ATO website specifically lists first aid courses among common deductible work-related expenses. But it highlights the fact that it’s not always clear.
If you’re wondering if you can claim first aid training as a deduction in your specific industry or workplace, the ATO has a lot of helpful information. This includes a large collection of occupation and industry-specific guides, spelling out some of the things you can and can’t claim for. That’s a great place to get started.
Alternatively, it’s often worth talking to a professional accountant when you’re looking to do your tax. They’re experts in this sort of thing and can quickly bring you up to speed on what deductions you can and can’t claim and help you get the most out of your tax return.
What Can’t I Claim?
Although first aid training is beneficial for any workplace, there are a lot of situations where the ATO won’t allow you to claim it as a tax deduction.
- When it’s not related to your role – If you’re working as a servo attendant, then you might need first aid skills to help a sick or injured customer at some point. But if it’s not actually part of your responsibilities in any way – then doing first aid training to prepare you for your role better is entirely your initiative. It’s not part of your job, so you can’t claim it.
- When it’s only loosely related to your role – For example, if you’re part of the behind-the-scenes admin team for a medical organisation, you could potentially claim that a knowledge of first aid is related to your role. But it’s not really required for doing your job – especially if your position involves no contact with outside clients.
- When it improves your chances of getting another job, rather than benefiting the role you’re in – You can’t claim for a requirement of a job you’re not in yet. This usually also includes going from one role to another within a single organisation, such as from a hospital orderly to a nurse.