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Tax Relief for NHS Doctors

  • April 01, 2019

If you are employed by the NHS and pay for work expenses that are not reimbursed to you by the hospital, then you may be able to claim a tax rebate from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). If you have not yet claimed for a tax rebate, you should be aware that HMRC allows you to go back four years, this means you can make a backdated claim.

NB: BDI Resourcing are not financial advisers, please call HMRC on 0300 200 3300 to discuss any potential claims.

What is a tax relief?

Tax relief on an item means that its cost or expense can be subtracted from your gross income, in order to reduce the amount of income that is subject to tax. A tax-deductible expense must be an expense that you have incurred “wholly, exclusively and necessarily”, according to HMRC, in the performance of your duties of employment. So, essentially – an expense that you had to pay whilst doing your job and that is related only to doing your job.

What expenses can I claim?

HMRC a definitive list of expenses, so, it is always to seek professional advice.

Generally, you can claim:

1. BMA, MDO, GMC and other professional memberships and annual subscriptions

To make a claim for a professional membership, you must be involved in the practice of the profession and the membership must be a condition for practicing that profession. Please note, to make a claim for any subscriptions, these must be with an HMRC-approved body.

2. Travel

Tax relief is typically available for travel; however, it must be for travel between your home and temporary workplace. A temporary workplace must not be the base from which the duties are usually performed, and work carried out.

There is no tax relief for ordinary commuting to work.

3. Education

The HMRC states that you may be eligible for tax relief if: you incurred a travel cost to the course, course fees and other associated costs are generally deductible if attendance at the event is an intrinsic part of the employment and one of the duties of employment.

How do I claim tax relief?

This can be done in a variety of ways:

Remember to keep all of your receipts for any expenses you want to include in your claim.

What other items can I claim tax relief for?

Unfortunately, HMRC specific guidance on this, as the requirements on job descriptions differ. However, if you follow the “wholly, exclusively and necessary” rule, typical items include:

  • Scrubs
  • Theatre shoes
  • Stethoscopes
  • Any tools and specialist equipment that is specifically required, necessary and used in the performance of your work

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If you are an international doctor who needs support securing your first NHS post or if you have any relocation questions, email your CV or query to [email protected] and we will be happy to help.

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References (2019). BMA - Tax relief. ] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2019].
Go Self Employed. (2019). Tax Deductible Expenses for NHS Doctors & How to Claim a Rebate. ] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2019].


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