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Why not talk to one of our Medical Accounting Team. We can discuss your circumstances and then explain how we can help you achieve better financial management with a tailored fixed price plan.

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Checklist for Someone Starting as a Self-Employed Locum Doctor

When you are just starting out as a self employed Locum it can be an busy time, getting used to a new way of working and new flexibility in working patterns and shifts, however it is important that you get your new status recognised by the HMRC and that you follow the rules to make sure you are not storing up trouble for the future.

New Locum Checklist

  • Inform HMRC that you have started self-employment work.
    • If you do not intend appointing an accountant you can do this either by submitting a form CWF1 or notify them on line using HMRCs website.  The CWF1 form is also available on HMRCs website.
    • Alternatively your accountant should be able to do this for you.
  • Consider the types of expenses you will incur.
    • If you consider the types of business expenses you will incur from the outset, then you are more likely to claim for everything that you can and to keep adequate records of expenses incurred.
    • You just record the expenses properly, so get into the habit early on!
  • Consider how much tax you need to set aside from your income to meet your tax liability when it falls due.
    • This is something that we can help you with. There is not a standard percentage which applies to all locum doctors. The amount you will need to set aside will depend upon the level of your income and also the other sources of income you have.
  • Know when your first self-assessment tax payment will be due and when subsequent payments fall due.
    • We often find that locum doctors are caught out by unexpectedly high tax liabilities as a result of the payment on account regime.
    • We can warn you of the payment dates and likely amounts so you can ring fence the money.
  • Submit forms to HMRCs National Insurance office, to ensure that you do not overpay National Insurance.
  • If you are working for an NHS Provider, review the superannuation forms that need to be completed.
  • Consider how to keep your business records.
    • These days there are smartphone apps and software that can make it easier than ever to keep receipts and good records, we can advise on these so you start out right.


How we can help

We can advise you on this whole process or carry it out on your behalf.




Contact us for specialist medical accountancy services for healthcare professionals

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.

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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.

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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 William Jasper, GP Partner

We have received an excellent service since we moved to Nichols & Co. The transition has been the most hassle-free and transparent. They are always very helpful with any queries you might have and have a very good working knowledge of General Practice and are keenly aware of the challenges Practices face within the changing environment of the NHS.

We have been very impressed by the way Nichols & Co continue to deliver the range of services they provide from Accounts to Tax and NHS Pension advice.

At the year-end meetings, the accounts are presented in an understandable format without any unnecessary jargons. We have found Practice consultation and advice on Practice as well as personal tax matters from Nichols & Co specifically helpful.

We would not hesitate to recommend them to other GP Practices.

Dr C DeSouza, Salaried GP

I am a GP who works both in salaried and sessional roles. I have been with Nichols & Co for nearly three years. They have helped with my tax returns and can help with the range of different forms required in GP work. Danny and Shadmir have been accurate and efficient in their advice and guidance throughout. They have also been helpful and responsive when I have needed advice on the purchase of a car and also when looking to prove my income in order to get a mortgage. The system for providing income details and expenses is very easy to use and the summary they provide of how and when to pay your tax could not be clearer. I would recommend Nichols & Co to any colleague looking for an accountant with a good knowledge of GP work. 

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 David Paige, Consultant Dermatologist, The Holly Private Hospital

The reason I was first attracted to Nichols was when I heard Mr Nichols explain the complexities of the Life-time allowance and the Annual allowance changes in simple terms. I have had no regrets using this firm as they are very trustworthy and honest.

They also sorted out my allocation of rental income to my partner correctly which I had been badly advised on before by a very large and well known accountancy firm.

They respond in a timely manner to queries and (politely) chase me up over submitting my tax return details. I would recommend them to anybody in the medical profession.

Mr Muhammed Siddiqui, Hospital Doctor

As a trainee I was very unaware of the tax system when starting work. I was pursuing surgery and it resulted in paying for a lot of courses and locuming to support my journey. The tax system was very complicated and when I went to see Debra as I really had no idea how to start sorting out my tax affairs including correcting tax codes and what the locuming income meant for my current PAYE system and also how I could maximise my tax free amount with subscriptions.
I cannot thank them enough for helping. They really listened to my concerns and needs. I had never thought of getting an accountant until then and had never thought of stopping except for the fairness that Nichols and Co have dealt with me. They’ve taken me to a place where I am now beginning to do my own tax returns resulting in independence. Their ethical approach towards me has resulted in recommending my sister and other colleagues to seek their help. My emails are always answered quickly and appropriately. They are and, in particular, Debra truly exceptional accountants.