Specialist advice for Locum Doctors

Working as a Locum can give you flexibility and a varied work experience, but making sure you are being paid correctly and not storing up trouble with HMRC can be more difficult, which is where we can help.

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Early Years Expense Claims for Locums

When a locum doctor starts self-employment and starts to think about business expenses, they often consider expenses incurred in earlier tax years. Our locum doctor clients have trained over several years. During this time it is common to have never completed a tax return and never to have claimed a tax rebate in respect of professional fees and subscriptions. Often a doctor will have paid subscriptions to the GMC, the BMA and to a professional indemnity insurer over several years.

Depending on individual circumstances, a significant tax rebate is often due. It is possible to make a tax rebate claim up to four years in arrears.

Claiming Expenses against Tax

In order to make a claim for tax relief the expense must be incurred “wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of the duties of employment”. This has traditionally restricted the types of expenses that an employee can claim to subscriptions and business mileage. However, a recent tax case, HMRC v Banerjee, has opened up the possibility for a registrar to be able to also claim for course and training costs.

Practical difficulties

The practical difficulty with making these claims is that the doctor may not have details of the professional fees or subscriptions paid over the past four years. However, this information can usually be obtained from the relevant professional body.

Word of caution

When a claim of this nature is submitted this automatically leads the Revenue to recalculate the PAYE deducted in earlier years. If, therefore, you have changed jobs at any time in the previous tax years or if your employer has operated an incorrect tax code then it is possible for a taxpayer to find themselves with an additional tax liability rather than a tax refund.

If you are not completely sure that the Revenue have already reviewed the earlier years then we strongly advise against submitting a claim of this nature without first asking us to calculate if there is any underpayment that you are not aware of.

You will know that the Revenue have looked into an earlier year if they have sent you a form P800 or a claim for payment or refund for a particular year.

How we can help

We help by advising the doctor what professional expenses are tax deductible and advising the best way to claim the tax rebate. We often provide a pro-forma letter for our clients to complete and submit to HMRC themselves.

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What our clients say…

Dr Ravi Bansal, Locum GP

I’ve been with Nichols and Co for nearly 10 years with Debra being my accountant. I first contacted them when I received letters for tax arrears due to the wrong tax codes being applied during my hospital jobs.

Debra sorted this matter out and has always provided helpful and honest advice regarding tax matters. She has also helped my wife with her tax returns. I would definitely recommend their services for accounting matters with a special interest in helping doctors with their tax affairs. They are approachable, helpful and efficient.

Dr Jayran Mistry, Locum

Thank you for everything you at Nichols & Co have done for me with regard to my tax returns to date. I have always felt I am able to approach you with any question and that the answer is always helpful and thorough.

I am very grateful for how detailed, clear and efficient you are with tax returns and letters and for expediting things when needed. Every time I make contact with you I am met with polite staff and helpful advice and I have spoken with many of my friends about the service you provide and how good I think it is. I always recommend you. Thanks very much again, I really appreciate your hard work and help.