Possible changes for Associates

21 October, 2021 / editorial

Licensed contracts with practices are well established within the dental profession. But a recent HMRC review has seen the department announce plans to take away the concession of self-employed status from April 2023

Many dentists in general practice work as associates, who pay a licence fee to a practice for use of the premises, equipment, materials and staff under an agreed contract with a practice.

The British Dental Association (BDA) have a standard contract for this relationship and HMRC use this to operate a concession that automatically classifies them as self-employed and means their earnings are treated as trading income.

In April 2018, HMRC wrote to associate dentists about a review they were holding into their self-employed status. 

The review found that in many instances the standard contract was replaced with a bespoke contract and where the standard contract was used, the terms were not adhered to in practice.

As a result of the review, HMRC have now updated their Employment Status Manual (ESM4030) to state that, as of 6 April 2023, the concession will be withdrawn and the employment status of all associate dentists, both new and existing, will need to be assessed using the usual employment tests.

We would advise associate dentists to take this opportunity, in advance of April 2023, to check their status using HMRC’s CEST toolkit and to review their daily working practices.

There may be a more formalised requirement for practices to check the employment status of associates.

If you’d like to find out more information or get advice regarding your employment status, please get in touch with Louise Grant.

Louise Grant is Partner & Head of EQ Healthcare
E: louise.grant@eqaccountants.co.uk
T: 01382 312100

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