Evaluating Taxable Pay in Travel Nursing

Travel nursing pay packages are a complicated process. You have different forms of payment and benefits. Although part of your pay is taxable, you also receive non-taxable income via housing stipends, travel reimbursement and funds for specific needs. By evaluating the package carefully, you can avoid complications with your taxes and prevent IRS red flags when filing your paperwork.

What is Taxable Income?

Taxable income as a travel nurse is the hourly wage you earn from your time in a facility or hospital. The hourly wage may vary significantly between positions and locations, so you should pay attention to the details when you look at your pay package.

Non-taxable income refers to the benefits you receive that do not require taxes. In travel nursing, the non-taxable benefits and income is usually travel reimbursement, a housing stipend and any other funds you receive that are not part of your normal wages. For example, if you receive funds to help with health insurance or health-related costs, then you do not always pay taxes on the funds.

When you file your taxes, you use your taxable income to calculate your tax bracket and your tax responsibilities. The non-taxable income, or benefits, do not require you to pay taxes to the IRS.

How to Recognize a Red Flag in Travel Nursing Pay

Although a travel nurse position gives you a chance to enjoy non-taxable income and benefits, you want to use caution when you look at available positions. You want to avoid any position that has a clear red flag in your payment structure.

A red flag is a pay package that will catch the attention of the IRS when you file your taxes. Essentially, it is a pay package that puts too much into the non-taxable income and keeps the taxable income at a rate that seems too low. The IRS has a large amount of data to draw on for comparisons. When a pay package seems to focus too much on non-taxable income, it may appear that you are not paying the appropriate amount of taxes. That results in the IRS auditing your taxes.

Your Personal Situation

Your personal situation also contributes to your tax responsibilities. If you do not have a mortgage or a property you rent in your hometown, then you may not qualify for certain non-taxable funds. You should also be aware that the IRS may audit you if you do not return to your hometown on a regular basis. A travel nurse has a complicated work situation. You travel to and from different locations, which means you do not spend most of your year in your hometown.

If you do not return home regularly, the IRS may assume that you moved. That may result in the IRS auditing you and requiring you to pay taxes on all of your income. Pay attention to the potential factors that limit your non-taxable income to avoid complications on your taxes.

Taxes are complicated, even when you do not work as a travel nurse. By working as a travel nurse, you want to evaluate your taxable and non-taxable income to find the right strategy for your financial goals. The key is ensuring that you do not lose your tax home by renting out your property, staying away from your hometown too long or giving up your rental property when you travel as a nurse.

3 Details to Include on Your Travel Nurse Resume

Travel nurses play an important role in a medical facility. They step in when a facility needs extra staff members or temporary relief due to unexpected circumstances. They provide assistance without getting involved in the political side of a medical facility. The flexibility a travel nurse brings into the hospital or facility helps the permanent staff. When you work as a travel nurse, you want your resume to tell potential employers that you are the right person for their needs. That means you want to include specific details and information that sets you apart and shows that you can step in and help out as soon as you arrive.

Give Your Past Experience

As a travel nurse, you may feel tempted to leave out some of your work experience. You may be moving regularly to fill in at different hospitals and medical facilities. That means you have a lot of details about your previous experience that you may get bogged down in the details.

While you do not want your resume to look too crowded, you also want to discuss your past experience. If you worked in a trauma hospital, then write it on your resume. If you have experience working with young children, then explain where you worked with young children and the role you played in their medical care. Get specific on the details about the hospital or medical facility. Explain the type of facility, the number of beds and the type of care provided in the facility. That will help set you apart on your resume.

Focus on Specific Skills

When discussing your role as a nurse at a specific hospital, talk about your specific skills. What was your role in the hospital? Do you have specific skills from your work experience? For example, if you worked in a hospital ICU, then you want to discuss the work you performed in the ICU. Do not overlook the value of giving details about your specific skills.

You also want to mention if a previous role was a travel nursing position. A medical facility may feel more comfortable working with nurses who have previously taken on travel nursing roles. Since you have experience as a travel nurse, you are able to step into the role and handle the challenges of settling into a new position.

Showcase Your Measurable Contributions

The final detail you want to include on any travel nursing resume is your measurable contributions to a hospital or medical facility. A measurable contribution is any aspect of your job that made improvements to a previous place of employment. For example, if you took action to improve patient safety by 20 percent, then explain your contribution to make an improvement in patient safety. Write about any awards or achievements that apply to your previous work experience.

Working as a travel nurse is challenging. You take on a variety of responsibilities and must step up quickly to provide care for your patients. Your resume is the first impression you make on potential employers, so you want to ensure that you provide the details they need to understand how you will fit into their hospital or medical facility.