Top 15 Tax Deductions for Locum Doctors

Top 15 Tax Deductions for Locum Doctors

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As the founder of Locum Physicians United and a seasoned locum tenens physician, I’ve navigated the complex waters of tax deductions and strategies particularly beneficial for locum doctors. My journey, fueled by my passion for entrepreneurship and a desire to empower my fellow physicians, has revealed many tax-saving opportunities that are often overlooked. Here, I’ll share the top 15 tax deductions locum doctors must leverage to optimize their financial health.

Top 15 Tax Deductions for Locum Doctors

1. Professional Fees and Dues

Membership fees for medical associations and licensing fees are essential for our profession. Thankfully, these are fully deductible. Leveraging these deductions helps keep professional costs manageable.

2. Continuing Medical Education (CME)

The medical field is ever-evolving, and staying abreast of the latest advancements is crucial. Expenses related to CME, including travel, can be deducted, making your pursuit of knowledge more affordable.

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

3. Travel Expenses

Locum tenens work takes us across the country. Fortunately, travel expenses, including airfare, mileage, lodging, and meals, are deductible. However, it’s essential to differentiate between what’s considered a work-related expense and what might be considered leisure to ensure compliance with IRS guidelines. There are ways to make every trip a business trip; join my LocumGuru telegram group for details. Click here.

4. Malpractice Insurance

Given our profession’s liabilities, malpractice insurance is non-negotiable. Make sure your locum company is paying for your malpractice. But if you run your practice, the premiums you pay for malpractice insurance are fully deductible, easing the financial burden of this necessary protection.

5. Home Office Deduction

Many of us manage the administrative aspects of our locum work from home. Suppose you use a portion of your home exclusively for business. In that case, you may qualify for the home office deduction, including a portion of your rent or mortgage, utilities, and internet service.

6. Health Insurance Premiums

Self-employed individuals can deduct 100% of their health insurance premiums, including dental and long-term care insurance, for themselves, their spouses, and dependents.

7. Retirement Contributions

Contributions to SEP-IRA, Solo 401(k), or a similar self-employed retirement plan secure your financial future and offer significant tax deductions.

8. Equipment and Supplies

Purchasing medical equipment, electronics, and office supplies necessary for your locum assignments and administrative tasks can quickly add up. These expenses are deductible, helping to offset the costs of essential tools.

9. Internet and Phone Expenses

In today’s digital age, staying connected is non-negotiable. A portion of your internet and phone expenses can be deducted, provided they are used for business purposes.

10. Marketing and Advertising

Marketing expenses are fully deductible if you’re launching a side hustle and promoting your services through digital platforms or traditional mediums. This deduction supports your efforts to grow your business.

11. Contract Labor

Hiring a virtual assistant or other contractors to manage administrative tasks can enhance efficiency. These expenses are deductible, allowing you to invest in support without bearing the total financial weight.

12. Professional Liability Insurance

Aside from malpractice insurance, other professional liability insurances that protect your business interests are deductible, offering another layer of financial prudence.

Professional Liability Insurance

13. Business Meals

Networking over meals or discussing contracts with potential employers can contribute significantly to your success. The IRS allows you to deduct 50% of your business meal expenses, making these meetings more palatable financially.

14. Vehicle Use

Using your vehicle for business, like traveling to different hospitals, allows you to deduct either the standard mileage rate or actual expenses. Keeping detailed records is critical to maximizing this deduction.

15. Section 179 Deduction

One of the most impactful yet underutilized deductions is Section 179. This part of the tax code permits locum tenens physicians to deduct a significant portion of equipment or software purchased or financed during the tax year. Instead of depreciating these purchases over several years, Section 179 allows you to write off a significant portion of the year it was purchased. This deduction can significantly lower your taxable income, providing substantial tax relief. However, consulting with a tax professional is essential to navigate the specifics and ensure eligibility.


Navigating the tax landscape as a locum tenens physician doesn’t have to be daunting. By leveraging these top 15 tax deductions, you can substantially reduce your taxable income, ultimately leading to more significant savings and a more robust financial foundation. As you work to improve lives through your locum work, pay attention to the importance of managing your financial health with as much care and diligence as possible.

Remember, while this guide provides a solid foundation, the complexities of tax law and individual circumstances mean it’s always wise to consult a tax professional. They can provide tailored advice and strategies to maximize your deductions, ensuring you’re compliant and optimizing your financial health.

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