‘E’ is for expenses

The building blocks of accountancy

This month, we get to ‘E’ in our A-Z guide of essential matters that consultants and GPs need to consider to run their private practices efficiently. Susan Hutter reports.

is for expenses

Doctors’ expenses have been regarded much more strictly in recent years by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). 

Most practitioners, sensibly, decided to cut back on the amount of the claims, particularly concerning the ‘old chestnuts’: motor expenses and the claim for use of home as office. 

When HMRC started to investigate motor expenses in more detail, it led to a well-known case that became the subject of a tax tribunal hearing. 

The consultant concerned claimed that his typical weekly journeys supported a 65% business mileage claim, whereas HMRC disputed this and proposed only 6%. The case concluded with a figure somewhere in between. 

However, it is a stark message to all consultants and GPs about how much they could claim in 2019 and beyond. 

It is worth stressing that travel between your surgery and your home is not tax-deductible. And what if your home is your office?  

In nearly all cases, HMRC will not allow travel from your home to your place of work, even if you do use your home as an office. 

Usually, it will only allow mileage between private hospitals/surgeries if you work from more than one. 

Additionally, one can also claim mileage for travelling to courses and conferences for business purposes. 

Be careful

Do be careful – if your claim is challenged by HMRC, it has the right to go back for six years and adjust the figures, which would end up meaning additional money for you to pay back. I recommend everyone keeps a mileage log of all business mileage so they never have to worry if questioned.