By Louise Misiewicz
Article relevant to the tax year 2017/18
Are you confused about recent tax rule changes for locum doctors, and wondering where to get help around IR35?
I was reviewing the medical industry news last week, and came across a recent example of confusion amongst locum doctors around recent tax changes and IR35 that I thought would be worth discussing.
A recent case was highlighted whereby NHS watchdogs were forced to back down around a row with locum doctors, performing a U-turn over recent tax legislation changes for medical professionals in the UK.
A health service regulator accused agency-based locum doctors of an organised campaign to hold the NHS virtually to ransom over tax changes introduced in April 2017, brought in by HMRC in an attempt to clamp down on tax avoidance.
NHS Trusts were required to take off tax and national insurance from pay packets at source from workers supplied via agencies, while the regulator said that all locum doctors should fall under new HMRC rules.
Some of my GP clients have said that the changes introduced last year have meant an income drop of up to 50% in some cases, whilst I’ve seen examples in the Press in the last few months of doctors threatening to withdraw from shifts at late notice, with some locum doctors demanding increases of over 55%.
The health service regulator has issued fresh guidance, advising NHS Trusts to examine each case on an individual basis before deciding whether agency locum doctors are covered by the new IR35 rules.
I’ve seen reports of temporary doctors losing in some instances between 30-50% of their income, whilst locum doctors were warned that they could be struck off in late-2017 if they cancelled shifts at minimal notice in an attempt to gain more money from the NHS.
You can check your employment status using HMRCs website to see if you are subject to the IR35 rules
If you’re unsure of your income and tax status around IR35, please consult a financial expert immediately.
I’ve written a number of useful related articles which will make for useful additional reading, including:
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