Doctors’ Update Spring 2013

Welcome to the beginning of a new NHS year and it’s all change!

The major changes such as the closure of the PCTs and the launch of the CCGs, as well as the introduction of revalidation and CQC checks have all been well publicised. Less well publicised are issues such as the phased withdrawal of MPIG and the continuing squeeze on enhanced services and incomes generally.

One change from 2013/14 which has had little publicity to date and could have a dramatic impact on some GP practices is the transfer of responsibility for the 14% employer’s superannuation for locum GPs, from the PCT to the ‘employing’ GP practice. Practices will receive a small amount of additional income (£1,160 for the average practice) to compensate, but this change will effectively mean that locum GP costs will increase significantly. New GP Locum Forms A and B are now available which reflect this change.

Also from April 2013, new employee superannuation rates apply, the top rate (for income over £110,274) being 13.3%. Superannuation contributions are becoming enormously significant!

The role of the practice manager has developed over recent years and is now more demanding than ever. There is one task in particular which has become more of a burden on the hard-pressed practice manager – the staff payroll. A major change takes place from April 2013 in that PAYE information has to be sent electronically to HMRC in real time. This means sending details to HMRC at the time an employee is paid. Many practice managers find payroll a daunting task and so may consider outsourcing the service in view of the new rules. We at Nicklins have a payroll department experienced in dealing with GP practices and we would be only too pleased to provide a quotation for operating your PAYE scheme.

At times like these, when profits are being squeezed, it is useful to be able to compare performance with other practices. This ‘benchmarking’ enables differences in income and expenditure between your own and other practices to be identified and examined to see whether there are problem areas. We have such benchmarking information at our disposal, compiled from information both from the accounts of our own clients and from AISMA member clients nationally. We carry out this benchmarking exercise for our clients as a matter of course. Accountants who act for a single GP practice, or even a small number, are not able to offer this kind of specialist advice.

As well as GP practices, we act for a large number of GP locums and hospital consultants with private practices. In recent years it has become popular for such practices to operate through limited companies in order to take advantage of more favourable tax rates and thus increase the level of disposable incomes. Whether to be self-employed or to use a limited company depends on the particular circumstances of each case and so professional advice should always be sought before taking any steps to incorporate. Our comprehensive service will ensure you receive the best advice at reasonable cost.

As members of AISMA, you can rely on us to provide specialist advice on all areas affecting doctors, both GPs and hospital consultants. We offer a free, no obligation initial consultation to discuss any taxation matters which affect you. Contact Ian Davies on 0121 550 9916 or email ian.davies@nicklins.co.uk to arrange a meeting.

Spring 2013

Posted in Business News.