You’ve worked hard to obtain your healthcare license and are therefore, very protective of it. Certain actions such as drug use, negligence or criminal actions can cause it to be suspended or revoked. But what does the government have to say about it when it comes to filing your taxes? According to an article published in this month’s Healthcare Traveler Magazine, there are some states which pursue action against healthcare providers for failure to file state tax returns or which continue to have a delinquent status in payment of a tax liability. If you file your taxes and/or pay any money owed on a timely basis then you will not be affected. But if you have not filed last year’s return or are considered delinquent with a tax owed to the state your license may be at risk. If you have an outstanding liability to which you have not contacted the state to set up a payment plan you are considered to be in delinquent status. The article states that currently the states of Louisiana, Oklahoma and Kansas were found to aggressively review tax filing delinquencies and payments not entered into a repayment plan and cross reference that information with healthcare licenses. All other states have this ability as well. The article brought up one last concern which addresses whether state licensing boards have the ability to cross reference information such as license renewals with tax filings? Since this information is easily accessible to state agencies, the answer is yes, they do and may do so at their discretion. Obviously no one likes the government’s ability to intrude on our lives, yet filing and paying taxes are a necessary evil and we all must do our part to keep up with this responsibility.
If you are new to travel nursing or even if you’ve been traveling for a few years, the following are some tax tips geared towards you:
Its never too late to start keeping organized records for filing next year’s return. First and foremost, keep good records. There is nothing more frustrating that having to sift through piles of misshapen receipts.
Good record keeping will be to your benefit not only at tax time but if you are ever audited. A travel file system which will store paperwork, receipts, etc. is also extremely helpful. Its also a good idea to keep a separate folder for each travel assignment.
Keep a log tracking your vehicle mileage as well a log tracking all of your travel expenses. You should record the mileage on your vehicle on December 31 so that you have an ending point for the year (and a starting point for the following tax year) as you will need to know the total mileage put on your vehicle. Record the mileage for all business trips from starting to end point.
When maintaining a log, its best to record the place, time and purpose of each assignment. Keep all receipts in regards to lodging, tolls, air fares, parking, etc. Also be sure to record any travel between your assignment and home and from temporary residences to your work site. As for vehicle expenses, most people benefit by using the standard mileage deduction rate as stated by the IRS regulations.
Keep receipts for general business expenses such as uniforms, licensing fees, dues, seminar expenses, etc. Communications services such as cell phones, internet, and/or pagers are deductible to the extent of which you use it towards your business. Also keep track of expenses related to the upkeep of your home while away on assignment that you would otherwise not pay for (i.e. lawn maintenance).
More tips on deducting travel expenses can be found by clicking here.
The above tips are not intended as legal advice and it is always recommended to consult a certified tax professional when filing your taxes.