We have extensive experience of providing specialist accountancy and tax services to Locums including NHS pension advice. Due to our niche expertise we act for Locums throughout England.
Your specific circumstances and financial affairs are unique to you and there are various options open to you. There are tax implications regarding the financial decisions you make so you should seek specialist advice in order to ensure the decisions you make are well informed. To often Locums obtain what we refer to as 'gin & tonic' advice from their 'friends/colleagues. Please note that setting up a limited company is not necessarily the best option available to you and there are numerous factors to consider.
As a GP Locum you are effectively running your own small business and there are important matters you have to deal with. It is also worth noting that there are onerous penalties for getting things wrong or leaving them too late. Our experts can talk you through the options available to suit your specific circumstances.
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We offer a broad range of accountancy and financial planning services to Locums. Our specialist knowledge ensures you receive the best advice.
- Recurrent annual services
- The preparation of annual accounts
- The calculation of tax liabilities
- The preparation of your Income Tax Return
- Advising Locums in advance of taxation payments
- Free ongoing telephone support
For your peace of mind and to help you plan ahead we offer a fixed fee for our recurrent services. The package is dependent upon your personal circumstances and your existing book keeping procedures. We offer a discounted rate for Locums who subscribe to 'My Locum Manager' (An online accounting toolkit and organiser www.mylocummanager.com)
As a Locum self-employment offers many benefits. One such advantage is offsetting any professional expenses against your trading profit, which will subsequently reduce your tax bill. However it is vital you understand the guidelines surrounding expense claims.
In the simplest of terms an expense is allowable for tax purposes if it is incurred 'wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the trade'. If an expense is incurred for more than one purpose - for joint personal use for example - a deduction for any identifiable proportion of the expense which is incurred 'wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the trade' is allowable.
Motor expenses can be claimed if a vehicle is used solely for the purposes of business. The expenses have to be apportioned so that only those incurred 'wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the trade' are allowed. Our team can assist you in agreeing what proportion of your travel is for business purposes, which can then be applied to your total expenses for the year.
Expenses that qualify to be claimed include:
- Petrol and oil
- Repairs and servicing
- Road tax
- AA/RAC subscription
- Cleaning and valeting
- Finance interest
In reality there are countless other expenses which could be claimed and we provide all our GP clients with a simple yet detailed checklist and ongoing advice to ensure that all allowable expenses are claimed.
If you are a member of the NHS pension scheme you are required to make superannuation contributions on your pensionable earnings.
Our superannuation services include:
- Establishing the correct tiered rate for your contributions to make sure you are paying the correct amount each year
- Claiming tax relief on your superannuation contributions
It's vital you understand which legal structure is the most appropriate for you and the way you trade.
Typically there are four structures to choose from:
- Sole trader
- Limited liability partnership
- Limited company
By selecting the most appropriate legal structure you could achieve the following:
- Divide your income with a spouse or civil partner
- Reduce income tax to 20% rather than 40%
- Reduce national insurance contributions
- Protect income in a corporate structure where it will be liable for tax at 20% rather than 40%
However, as a locum your circumstances may not allow you the freedom to choose your legal structure. Therefore this type of tax planning may not be suitable for you. Nonetheless our experience enables us to work within the constraints of your personal circumstances to develop the best possible solution.
Many Locums will have two sources of income, a self-employed locum income and potentially salaried income from a hospital or doctor's surgery.
Both sources are liable to national insurance contributions. However, there is a maximum amount of national insurance contributions, which any individual taxpayer must pay in any year. Often a Locum will simply pay the maximum national insurance contributions due on their practice income alone and this can often be missed by an inexperienced or non-specialist accountant resulting in more national insurance being paid than is due.
What can we do to help?
Firstly we would evaluate exactly what contributions are being paid. If contributions have been over paid in the past, we are then able to reclaim the overpayment.
The introduction of the Tax Health Plan has far reaching implications for you.
Protection against the increased frequency and cost of tax enquiries is now essential and as such we offer a service to safeguard GP's from the potential significant costs of any such investigation. While additional tax liabilities are an issue, equally important are the professional fees, which could be incurred should there be a dispute with the tax authorities. We therefore recommend all our GP clients take advantage of our Tax Protection Service, which covers professional fees incurred in handling a dispute with H M Revenue & Customs.
Through an annual subscription the scheme enable us to manage the process effectively on your behalf and removes the risk of any unexpected fees or costs.