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.

Contact us today

Self Employment for Locums

Being self employed is relatively straightforward.

You will almost always provide a service directly to the client and not work through an agency.

You will need to complete an annual self assessment tax return and can offset business expenses against your tax bill. Self employment is not as tax efficient an option as working through a limited company (personal service company), provided that the personal service company does not have to apply the IR35 tax regulations or the ‘off payroll’ working rules.

Claiming Expenses

Self employed individuals can claim expenses which are ‘wholly and exclusively’ incurred for business purposes. An employee can claim far fewer expenses. This means that a locum who is self employed will pay less tax and national insurance than a locum paid by a PAYE salary.

If you start to work as a self employed locum it is necessary to inform the Revenue when you start this type of work.

NHS Pension Forms A & B

If a locum GP provides self employed services to an NHS general practice, NHS superannuation contributions are due on the income received.

Superannuation is accounted for using Locum Form A and Locum Form B.

These forms can be downloaded from http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/

Making provision for Tax and National Insurance

If you are self employed you will be responsible for making provision for your own income tax and national insurance and paying these to HMRC when they fall due. As a client we can advise you of the amounts and due dates to remind you to keep the funds available when due.

Working through an Agency

It is very unlikely that an agency will engage a locum on a self employed basis. The agency may be held responsible for a self employed locum’s unpaid tax or national insurance. So this is unlikely to be a viable option if you are working for an agency.

How can we help

  • We can help you to inform the Revenue you have become self employed, registering for you to pay self employed tax and national insurance and assisting in the preparation of your self assessment income tax return at the end of the year.
  • We can assist in the preparation and submission of all superannuation forms including Locum Forms A and B.
  • We can advise you of the right amount of tax and national insurance to put aside to ensure you have sufficient funds to cover your tax bill when it falls due.

Starting out as a self employed locum doctor? See our Self Employed Checklist.


Contact us for specialist medical accountancy services for Locums

If you’re looking to plan your finances for the future or trying to find an answer to a problem then get in touch today.



Are you in danger of being hit with a huge tax bill on your pension growth? Our NHS Pension Review Service can provide an advance warning of impending pension issues.

Learn more →



HMRC have increasingly got GPs in their sights and many Practices have been subject to lengthy tax investigations. Make sure you’re covered with our annual insurance scheme.

Learn more →



Talk to one of our Medical Accounting Team for free. We can discuss your circumstances and how we can help you achieve better financial management, reduce your tax bills or plan for the future with a tailored fixed price plan.

Meet our team

We have a panel of subject experts and a team of professional accountancy support staff to make sure your specific needs are met reliably and cost effectively.


A specialist healthcare team to advise you
Call free for support at any time
Keep you up to date with the latest changes
No fuss, smooth process to change to us
Members of AISMA - Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants

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.