Value Added Tax is a levy applied to most products and services. It is a complex tax, but for many businesses it is part of the day-to-day finances. VAT is charged on invoices and recovered on certain costs incurred.
There are special provisions within the VAT legislation specific to medical services, but reviewing and evidencing that those exemptions apply is extremely important. Alec James gives some wise advice.
Generally speaking, VAT is not on the radar of many doctors. The reason is that there is an exemption which covers the majority of your work in the private sector.
There is detailed HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) guidance regarding VAT for medics, referred to as VAT notice 701/57.
Fundamentally, where your income meets the following two requirements, the income is deemed to be exempt from VAT and therefore your business has no VAT obligations:
1 The services are within the profession in which you are registered to practice;
2The primary purpose of the services is the protection, maintenance or restoration of the health of the person concerned.
As registered doctors providing medical care to patients, your private practice income would usually pass these two tests and therefore is exempt from VAT.
This means you are not required to charge the current VAT rate of 20% on your invoices.
Where an income stream does not meet the two requirements for VAT exemption, you need to consider your VAT position, because the income will be considered to be a ‘VAT-able supply’ – or ‘standard-rated’ as it is formally known. More...
One of our partners Ian Tongue is a regular contributor to Independent Practitioner and this month he covers 10 Financial Considerations for Succeeding in Private Practice in light of COVID19.
You can read his full article here
Remember, if you haven't paid your 31 July 2020 tax payment yet, you do not need to make payment until 31 January 2021. HMRC have been sending out the usual 31 July 2020 payment slips but have automatically changed the due date for payment to 31 January 2021.
If you would like to discuss your private practice please feel free to contact us
In our previous private practice post we set out some points for you to consider as the lockdown eases and there is some return to normality. This is available on our website.
Independent Practitioner Today has also kindly published our pointers here.
Towards the end of the article we highlighted some tax planning opportunities and advice that will be set out below and for which further detailed guidance can be provided on a personal basis.
The tax planning will be split between those who practice as individual practitioners or in partnership say with their spouse or partner and those of you that have limited companies.
If you have a 31 March or 5 April financial year end then for the year 2020/21 the first part of the year will have seen little or no private practice activity.
The Revenue will allow the 31 July 2020 tax payment (your second payment on account for the tax year 2019/20) to be deferred until 31 January 2021.
With the NHS and private hospitals triggering the de-escalation clause to allow some private work and NHS elective surgery, we take a look to the future from a financial perspective of how private practice can survive during the pandemic.
Income for all practitioners has taken a huge hit in the last couple of months and will continue over the coming weeks.
New protocols to deal with patient consultations, investigations and procedures will mean less patients can be seen, investigated and operated on within the time span compared to pre COVID 19.
This means less income unless fees are reassessed upwards.
The private hospitals by way of the NHS block booking of their facilities effectively received a subsidy to assist them over the 3 month period that in most cases saw little use of their facilities.
The private hospitals will be acutely aware of the huge list of NHS patients needing treatment and will no doubt seek contracts to treat them for the NHS. This will provide an opportunity for additional private work but at what rates?