The Private Practice Surgeon

A number of our clients work in the medical profession, and self-employed consultants in particular, will invariably require professional assistance with their tax affairs.

A recent case in point was a surgeon who had started to undertake private work. She found herself having to navigate a brave new world of taxation as a self employed consultant and sought our advice on how to comply and respond tax efficiently to this regime.

First and foremost, we needed to advise her of the “basis periods” model that applies to self employment income and help her to avoid the possibility of doubly taxed “overlap profits”. Alongside this, we undertook a cash flow analysis to establish her projected income and estimate and plan for her future tax payments. It was interesting to see how quickly the tax numbers could move depending upon which date she selected as her accounting period end, making a huge difference to her in terms of cash-flow.

The next change for her was to understand her liability to National Insurance as a part-employed, part-self employed individual and to complete the relevant forms to register as self-employed, all of which we were able to help with. We also applied for a deferment to avoid her overpaying National Insurance and the inconvenience of a subsequent reclaim.

Given the likely level of future earnings, our client would also be well advised to consider an LLP structure to manage her UK tax liabilities and the timing of various tax charges. An LLP can be a very flexible and tax efficient vehicle and those starting a new business would often be well advised keep an LLP in mind as an alternative to more traditional “one man band” and limited company structures.

The answers to even the most straightforward tax questions – how should I structure my business and what date will be my business year end – need to be considered on the particular facts and can throw-up surprisingly varied answers.

“I have worked with the Tax Advisory Partnership for a number of years and have appreciated their pro-active and professional approach. I would readily recommend their services to others in need of good tax advice and a responsive tax return service.”

Khai Lam, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals and London Bridge Hospital