Allowable Expenses for NHS Doctors

If you work for the NHS then it is worth understanding the HMRC rules around what you can and can’t claim for against your taxes.

This guide is for Doctors employed by the NHS and will help you understand:

  • Which work expenses are tax deductible;
  • How to work out how much you can set against your taxes;
  • How to make your claim;
  • Making backdated work expense claims.

What are Tax Deductible Expenses

If you are employed by the NHS and pay for work expenses that are not reimbursed to you, then you may be able to claim a tax rebate.

HMRC sets out strict rules about what you can and cannot claim against your taxes, as well as how you work out the amounts.

Here are some of the common tax-deductible expenses for NHS Doctors

British Medical Association “BMA”

As an NHS doctor, you are able to claim tax relief for certain professional memberships and governing body subscriptions.

HMRC has a list of professional memberships that it considers tax deductible. It includes memberships to bodies such as the GMC and BMA.

Doctors Medical Clothing and Equipment

You can claim tax relief for any work expenses that you pay for personally but use in your job.

For example, if you have paid for any equipment or medical clothing, they should be tax deductible providing they are required for your job.

Typical examples include:

  • Scrubs (including costs for laundry);
  • Specialist Footwear;
  • Stethoscopes;
  • Operating glasses.

Travel & Subsistence

Although you cannot claim travel between your home and place of work, there are some circumstances where you can get a tax rebate for travel.

If you travel to a temporary location, then you can claim for the cost of that travel as well as subsistence.

Subsistence means a small meal while you are out and about.

If you are a doctor or consultant who works across one or more hospital, then it is advisable to seek professional advice before claiming travel and subsistence costs.

Mileage

If you use your personal vehicle for work then you can claim a set amount per mile against your taxes.

The currently approved mileage rates for cars are 45p for the first 10,000 miles and 25p thereafter.

If the NHS reimburse you for your mileage, then no claim can be made. If they reimburse your for less that the statutory amounts above, you can claim for the difference.

Training Courses and Books

Claiming tax relief on training courses and books is a very grey area. So if you are in doubt then seek professional advice before making a claim because they have been the subject of much dispute between HMRC and Doctors over the years.

In general, HMRC allows you to claim tax relief for training courses and books where they are an intrinsic part of the employment and one of the duties of the employment.

In these cases, the costs of travel to the events, course fees and other associated costs met by the employee are deductible.

However, where you choose to attend courses costs by your own choice or to maintain your CPD, then you cannot claim for the costs of training or incidental subsistence.

Training Courses for New Qualifications

If you choose to start studying towards a new qualification or skill, then these costs are NOT tax deductible.

How to Claim Your NHS Doctors Tax Rebate

You must make sure you keep all your receipts for any expenses you want to include in your claim for your tax rebate.

There are special rules for certain expenses where you don’t get a receipt, or they are more subjective. These are:

  • Mileage
  • Laundry

How you make your claim will depend on the amount and your circumstances.

Tax Rebate Claims Up to £2,500

  • BY POST: Complete a P87 form online, then print and post the form to the address at the end of the form;
  • GO ONLINE: Log into or set up a government gateway account to claim your tax rebate online;
  • BY PHONE: If you have claimed a tax rebate successfully before, then phone 0300 200 3300– make sure you have your national insurance number ready;
  • On a self-assessment tax return, if you are self-employed or complete one for another reason.

Tax Rebate Claims over £2,500

If your claim is for over £2,500 then you need to complete a self-assessment tax return.

To do this you’ll need to register with HMRC to let them know that you want to complete a self-assessment tax return.

Then HMRC registration process can take up to 10 days and once it is completed you will receive a letter from HMRC with your  UTR (Unique Taxpayers Reference).

Keep your HMRC login details and UTR number safe because you’ll need them to file your self-assessment tax return.

How You’ll Receive Your NHS Doctors Tax Rebate

Once approved by HMRC, both you and your employer will receive a letter from HMRC notifying you of a change to your tax code.

Your employer will then change your tax code and you’ll receive your rebate through your payslip.

How Many Years Can You Claim?

If this is the first time you have claimed for a tax rebate, then you should be aware that HMRC allows you to go back 4 years. So you may be able to make a backdated claim.

A year means ‘Tax Year’ and that runs from 6 April to 5 April each year.