06 Dec What Expenses Can a Locum Tenens Claim?
As a locum tenens physician, there are many benefits beyond the joys of travel. One is being able to deduct a wide variety of business expenses. However, many locum providers feel overwhelmed with figuring out what exactly is deductible from their travel, housing, and health expenses come tax season.
It goes without saying that it’s important to understand what professional expenses you can expect to claim – including the available tax benefits.*
Here are some facts all locum providers should be aware of:
Whether by car, air, train – travel to a locum assignment can result in a tax deduction. In fact, a 100% deduction of the cost of the car, fuel, charge for electric cars, and even car insurance is possible. Therefore it’s important to keep a list of mileage, fuel costs, airline tickets, and any other expenses related to your yearly business travel.
Besides travel expenses locum tenens doctors who work as independent contractors year-round can also deduct most business expenses. This includes office equipment and supplies, medical equipment, CME expenses, licensing fees, communication expenses, board exam fees, etc. Just keep track of your receipts, since the IRS doesn’t accept credit card statements as proof of purchase.
You can also deduct the at-home space where you work from your taxes. Deductions are based on the square footage of the part of your home used regularly and exclusively for business and also include any expenses relating to your practice. A certified tax professional will clarify what is or isn’t deductible.
While many locum tenens agencies cover the cost of lodging for their locum providers, this isn’t the case for every assignment. If you find yourself covering the cost for your rental house or apartment while on assignment, you can deduct the expense of your rent. This is true if your apartment is near where you’re working, the apartment is outside the general vicinity of your non-travel residence, and the rent paid appears to be Ordinary and Necessary as defined by the IRS.
Be sure to check with your recruiter – they should be extensively familiar with the ins and outs of lodging for the travel healthcare industry.
As a healthcare professional, it’s necessary to maintain your professional development through continuing education. The cost of education, including seminars, workshops, classes, etc., can be claimed as a tax deduction. Make sure to keep records of your expenses – including registration fees and travel costs.
Family Health Insurance
As a locum provider, you’re eligible to deduct your health insurance expenses, including Medicare premiums (if applicable), and dental insurance. However, if both yourself and your spouse are filing as independent contractors, you can not only file a deduction for your spouse’s insurance, but for your dependents as well!
*This blog is intended to provide information for locum tenens providers on how to potentially save on taxes and expenses. It’s not a professional recommendation. Be sure to talk to a licensed tax professional, a CPA or an experienced staffing consultant to help you take advantage of all of the benefits and deductions available.
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